Uber or Lyft in DTW or is a car necessary?
June 4, 2016 10:44 AM   Subscribe

Can we get by on Uber or Lyft, or should we rent a car for two nights in Detroit?

I have an interview in Detroit on Tuesday, yay! The company reimbursed me for my airbnb but I totally forgot about a car (and plane tickets aren't an issue--we fly nonrev) and rates are looking really steep, about $60 minimum per day. It looks like an Uber ride from the airport to the place we're staying is about $25. Our airbnb has an 85 Walkscore (the University neighborhood, they say) and according to Yelp there's lots of good stuff within walking distance.

We don't plan on doing a ton of sightseeing or anything, just eating some food and wandering around. Do you think we can get by with just Uber or Lyft to and from the airport, or is the rental car price worth it?
posted by masquesoporfavor to Travel & Transportation around Detroit, MI (10 answers total)
You can definitely use Uber or Lyft for two days in Detroit. I can't speak to Lyft but Ubers are pretty thick on the ground and readily available, especially if you're going to and from the more heavily touristed areas. I grew up in downtown Detroit and I rarely bother renting a car anymore when I go home to visit. Enjoy your stay!
posted by fancypants at 11:54 AM on June 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

It sounds like your place is in Midtown - you should be good. Tons of restaurants within walking distance, and a decent amount of shopping and stuff to do. Plus, the weather is fantastic right now! Even if you decide to visit some close-in suburbs that's only a $20-30 ride. Lyft is 50% off right now (max 2 rides), ending after tomorrow, so I'd do that if you get here before then.
posted by wikipedia brown boy detective at 12:23 PM on June 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

I would find it pretty annoying to be in Detroit without a car--the public transit options are bad. However, it sounds like $60 would be a lot for you, so you can probably grin and bear it for two days.

I would double-check the Uber fare, though. $25 from Metro to the Wayne State area sounds as if it could be low. That's around a half-hour drive.
posted by praemunire at 1:44 PM on June 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Well $60 isn't a lot, but $120 plus taxes is more than I care to spend to drive myself from the airport to an airbnb if I can get a ride for less and would be walking the rest of the time anyway (the interview and the airbnb are very near to each other).

I got the fare by entering the address of my starting and ending point on the Uber site, so if you know a better way to estimate a rate I'd love to double-check!
posted by masquesoporfavor at 1:49 PM on June 4, 2016

It's certainly possible that Uber fares are even more depressed in Detroit than I thought. It just caught my eye.

(And in case it wasn't clear, I wasn't intending anything critical by the "a lot for you" remark. Your budget is what your budget is. To me, there'd be a decent amount of value in a car, but it doesn't matter how good the value is if you can't really afford it!)
posted by praemunire at 2:16 PM on June 4, 2016

There's some cab company that has an exclusive contract with the airport, and I'd be a little surprised if Uber or Lyft drivers could pick you up there. They've told me before they can't. I haven't actually tried. I'll defer to anyone with better information.
posted by bfields at 3:26 PM on June 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

(But there are other companies that will pick you up at DTW for cheaper than the preferred vendor if you prearrange with them--just google for "DTW airport transportation" or similar and shop around.)
posted by bfields at 3:53 PM on June 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: $25 is an accurate Uber price from DTW to downtown.
posted by fancypants at 5:44 PM on June 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Ubers are plentiful at DTW, no problem. Since there is no ID on an Uber vehicle, how would anyone know if that is George, the Uber driver,picking you up,or your friend George? They lurk in the cell phone lots so are2 minutes away. I Uber all over Detroit and environs.
posted by Lornalulu at 6:46 PM on June 4, 2016 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Back from DTW! Uber and Lyft were perfect, would definitely recommend doing that to anyone who hates renting a car as much as I do! Thanks for the advice everyone!
posted by masquesoporfavor at 11:31 AM on June 9, 2016

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