How to Make a Rideshare App? (Process + Features + Cost)

Travis Kalanick, a founder of Uber, quotes, “We want transportation as reliable as running water.”

This has now become true. Nowadays, within a few taps, a user can ride a book and share the cab with their friends or colleagues to save the cost. This concept of ridesharing has helped entrepreneurs in solving the following challenges in their businesses:

  • Personal rides are costlier for users
  • Tackle the problems of environmental changes
  • Allocation of taxis in peak hours

Being an entrepreneur, what more do you need to take your own rideshare business to the next level? In fact, according to a report by Statista, the market valuation of the global ride-sharing app is growing to reach $117 billion by 2021.

If you want to utilize this opportunity and want to understand how to make a rideshare app, then we have created this complete guide with the help of our expert ridesharing app developers, who have developed a ridesharing app for the USA. Let’s get started.

The Outstanding Growth of Ride-sharing Apps

The ride-sharing app’s concept is now very popular amongst the masses. But, before diving into this industry, it is necessary to understand or have basic information about it. Therefore, let’s look at the top players’ market valuation in the industry.

  • As mentioned in Statista and Wikipedia, the revenue of Lyft company is around USD 2.3 billion (2020).
  • As per Statista, the revenue generated by the Uber app is around USD 11.1 billion in the year 2020.
  • As per the report of MarketsAndMarkets, the global rideshare market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 16.6% percent. The market value of ride-sharing is projected to reach $185.1 billion by 2026.

From the above statistics, you must have noticed the outstanding growth of ride-sharing apps. This brings an opportunity for all the entrepreneurs who want to build a ride-sharing app. Now, let’s check the step-by-step process to build the rideshare app.

How to Make a Ride-sharing App in 7 Steps

In this section, you will learn the process of creating a rideshare app. We will take you through all the steps and explain everything in detail. Let’s check the first step below.

  1. Conduct Market Research for Your Rideshare App

  2. Make a list of best ridesharing apps available in the market. After that, check the app store ratings and reviews to find out loopholes of existing applications. Generally, app users share their requirements and challenges in the feedback section. It allows you to plan for your mobile application in a better way.

    Study all the applications to understand the flow and its work functions. You can check the application features and UI and UX of the application. Also, look for the mistakes made by your competitors. All these things will help you to find the opportunity to make your app successful in the market.

    Another thing is to understand your target audience. Your target audience belongs to a specific group who are likely to consume your product or avail of your services.

    Let’s take a simple example, GoKid is a carpool solution made for families, schools, and teammates. It helps school children and teammates to book rides and travel along with familiar people. Whereas, it allows users to manage the day-to-day transportation schedules.

    Now, from the above example, you got the idea that GoKid is for family members, school authorities and students, and office professionals.

    Afterward, you need to identify your target audience’s requirements. The following points will help you to determine your target audience requirements.

    • Identify the market trends to know your user’s requirements
    • Conduct market surveys to make the strategic decisions
    • Look at the social media platforms of your competitors to learn their strategies

    This will help you to get a better understanding of rideshare apps available in the market. Besides, you get to know the competition in the ridesharing market.

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  3. Choose a Mobile Development Platform

  4. To develop the app, you need to decide on a platform. Whether to choose a native platform or a hybrid. Let’s first understand both platforms.

    Native mobile apps are specifically designed to work on a particular platform either iOS or Android. Whereas, hybrid mobile apps are designed to work on both platforms regardless of any specific OS. To get an in-depth idea, you can check our complete guide on Native vs Hybrid mobile applications.

    However, it is recommended to develop a native app over a hybrid app because of the following reasons.

    Thus, depending on the consumer’s requirements and preference of your target audience, you also need to decide the platform for your app. In Europe, 69% percent of people prefer the Android smartphone, while in North America, 53.62% of people prefer iOS smartphones.

    Moreover, you can also conduct market surveys in your targeted region to know the choice of your customers. Overall, through data, you will be able to make better decisions for your ride sharing app.

  5. Decide the Key Features

  6. While creating your own ride-sharing application, one of the important aspects to consider is the features. It allows you to offer better conveniences to your users when they use your mobile app.

    Generally, a product like Grab or Lyft is divided into three sections, driver, customer, and admin side. Therefore, we have bifurcated features into different categories to make it easier for you.

    Driver AppPassenger AppAdmin Panel
    RegistrationRegistrationBooking management
    User profileRide bookingLocation management
    Trip notificationsReal-time trackingTrip fares management
    NavigationRide historyNotification management
    MessagingFilteringFeedback management
    Rating and reviewsIn-app paymentsDriver and user support
    Reports of tripsFare calculatorCall system management
    Waiting timeMessaging & callingPromotion and discount
    Book for othersPayroll management
    Push notifications
  7. Hire an App Development Company

  8. To develop the product, you need to hire an experienced ridesharing app development company like Space-O Canada. Because we at Space-O Canada have experience in developing an on-demand rideshare app for one of our clients.

    Hiring an app development company helps you to execute your idea into reality by developing a full-fledged product. An app development company knows the competitive market and has the experience in handling the problems more rapidly as per your needs.

    The benefit of hiring an app development company is that you get all the required resources under one roof. Moreover, they have expertise in the latest technologies and will help you to develop the standard version of the product.

  9. Create Wireframe and UI/UX of the App

  10. The purpose of developing a wireframe is to know the workflow of the app. Making a wireframe helps to have an idea of the design of the final product. Also helps you to build the basic foundation of your app. Here is the image to understand how the wireframe helps.

    balsamiq wireframing academy

    Image Source: Balsamiq Wireframing Academy

    You get clarity on whether your application screen layout meets the objective, usability, and flow of the application according to your expectations or not. Moreover, it allows you to create a visual understanding of the app.

    Before designing the UI/UX of your product, wireframing helps to build the initial level design of the product. Rectifying the issues in the wireframing saves your time during the development phase. Once your wireframe is ready, the designing process gets started.

    UI/UX design is the essential factor. You will be required to choose the perfect design for an app that is attractive and makes you stand out from the competitors. The importance of creating an attractive and seamless user interface helps your users in navigation. Creating a smooth UX for your users requires different mobile app design tools which are mentioned in the following image.

    Here, making an effortless UI won’t let your users struggle using your app. Thus, it will likely create an impact on users to download the application for personal benefits. Furthermore, you can read our complete guide on the UI/UX trends of application design.

  11. Development of Ride Sharing App

  12. If you are looking to develop a rideshare app with minimum features or a limited budget, you can create a ride-sharing MVP version of your application. MVP refers to a minimum viable product that intends to make a product with maximum research on customers’ needs that includes minimum efforts. Here are the purposes of MVP that you need to know.

    purpose of minimum viable product-mvp

    How Does MVP Help You in Executing a Business Idea?

    The purpose of developing the MVP of the product is to create an app with a small budget and essential features. Once you launch the MVP of your app in the ridesharing market, it allows you to gain valuable feedback from the customers and improve your app further in the long run. If you want to know more about developing the MVP of the app, then you can surely read our guide on the minimum viable product.

  13. Testing and Deployment of Your Ridesharing App

  14. After the development of ridesharing applications with basic features, the QA team of a mobile application development company performs testing. The purpose of testing is to check whether the application performs according to your requirements or not.

    Once the QA team performs all the test cases and errors get resolved by developers, the application is released in app stores like Google Play Store and Apple App Store. These app stores may review your mobile application and take 48 hours to release your mobile application into its store.

    Also, you might need to maintain your app once it is launched, or you will need to integrate essential features. It enhances the mobile app and helps your app to get success in the long run. This helps to keep the application quality top-notch for your users.

    As we have learned the step-by-step process of making the ridesharing app, now we’re going to know the estimated cost of creating a rideshare app like Lyft or BlaBlaCar.

How Much Does It Cost to Create Your Own Ridesharing App?

To give you an exact idea of the cost of the ride-sharing application, we have listed down the table of features with its hours and cost.

App ModulesEssential FunctionalitiesStageEstimated Time
Driver App
  • Registration/login
  • Navigation
  • Messaging
  • Ratings
  • Reports
  • Planning & Prototyping
  • Designing & Coding
  • Testing & Deployment
200 hours
User App
  • Registration/login
  • Book ride
  • Tracking
  • Payment
  • Fare calculator
  • Push notifications
  • Planning & Prototyping
  • Designing & Coding
  • Testing & Deployment
240 hours
Admin Panel
  • Dashboard/login
  • Manage to book
  • Manage location
  • Manage trip fares
  • Manage payroll
  • Customer support
  • Planning & Prototyping
  • Designing & Coding
  • Testing & Deployment
160 hours
Webservices API200 hours
Total approximate time estimation API800 hours

You can use the formula to get the cost estimation of creating a rideshare app. Multiple hourly rates of the mobile app developer to the time required for the development of a mobile app. The answer you get is the final cost of mobile app development.

Let’s take an example to understand this better:

Suppose an app developer charges $30 per hour, then multiply it by the hours of each app.

  • Driver App: $30 X 200 = $6000
  • User App: $30 X $240 = $7200
  • Admin Panel: $ 30 X 160 = $4800
  • Webservices API: $30 X 200 = $6000

Additionally, you need to know the cost of creating an application like Lyft depends on the following factors:

Cost to Hire App Developers

Generally, the cost of rideshare app development or any mobile app development depends on the mobile app developers you hire. The charges of mobile app developers can be different according to their locations. Here’s the table to give you a brief idea about mobile app developers’ per hour cost of four different locations.

LocationAverage Hourly Rate
Canada$100 – $130 per hour
The USA$100 – $150 per hour
The UK$60 – $75 per hour
Australia$90 – $120 per hour

The following image will help you to understand the app development costs by different geographical locations.


Image Source: GoodFirms

Now, if you are looking for the best ways to make money using ridesharing apps, then check the next section.

How to Make Money Using Ride-sharing Apps?

Choosing a monetization model is essential to grow your mobile app business and generate profits out of it. Deciding on a business model helps you to cut future costs of the ridesharing business. Here are the three business models.

  1. Commission Model

  2. A commission-based module is a well-known module amongst ridesharing apps. In this module, service fees are charged from each payment transaction. For example, Lyft charges 20% from the drivers for each ride.

  3. Partnering Model

  4. Making partnerships with more vehicles opens the opportunity for more earnings and offers a variety of vehicles to customers. Thus, Grab partnered with the Hyundai Motor Group to accelerate the EV adoption models in Southeast Asia.

  5. Advertising Model

  6. Advertising refers to running third-party apps ads in your app to earn nominal revenue. Generally, most ridesharing apps are not using this type of model because of the fear of losing customers. Showing a frequent number of advertisements can lead to losing customers.

    Once you select the monetization strategy, it helps you to generate more revenue from your app. Now, the next part that comes here is marketing your app. It will help you to build awareness among users to know about your application.

Market Your Own Ride-sharing App

When you launch your mobile application, you should think of strategies to market your application. To help you out, we have listed a few ways to market the application below.

  1. Referrals

  2. You can offer referrals to first-time users to attract your target audience to use your rideshare app. For example, Uber started a referral marketing program, in which users give the benefits of free rides to friends and get credit themselves.

  3. Partnerships

  4. Implementing partnerships with different vehicle companies to attract customers to your app. For example, Lyft has partnered with Waymo to bring self-driving cars to roads. It allows you to build loyal customers as well as helps you to increase your brand presence in the market.

  5. A Loyalty Program

  6. You can develop a customer loyalty program to offer many benefits to your users. For example, Uber offers an “Uber VIP” program to its users who are actually their loyal customers and took 100 uber rides. Through this program users can take leverage of giveaways, special discounts, and high quality vehicles. Building such loyalty programs will lead your brand to word-of-mouth marketing. Here, you need to focus on what value you can give to your users.

Now, we will move further to check the 3 best ridesharing mobile apps that are primarily famous for their services.

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3 Best Ridesharing Apps

As we have discussed, a step-by-step process, cost, and development duration are required in creating the application. Now, we have listed the top ride-sharing apps based on popularity from which you can learn and create your app with unique features in your mind. Let’s check them out.

LogoApp NameTotal FundingRatings (Google Play Store)Download
uber logoUberUSD 25.2 billion4.3
9,088,840 reviews
Android | iOS
lyft logoLyftUSD 4.9 billion4.9
10,165,988 reviews
Android | iOS
blablacar logoBlaBlaCarUSD 563.5 million4.1
‎1,607,840 reviews
Android | iOS

Still, do you have any doubts about rideshare apps? You can check out our frequently asked questions.

FAQ About Ride Sharing Apps

  1. How do ridesharing apps work?

  2. The ridesharing app module is divided into four parts:

    Request: Car owners can specify where they are going and at what time.

    Booking: Companions can book a ride by knowing from the list of rides, driver’s details, and ratings.

    Payment: Users can pay via the app or by cash when they reach their destination.

    Rating: Users can give reviews and ratings when they leave the trips.

  3. How do rideshare drivers make money?

  4. Rideshare app drivers make money from the following factors:

    • A standard fair for each completed ride
    • Booking fees charges
    • Cancellation charges

Take Your Ride Sharing Business Online

Ridesharing apps have made transportations easier for people and also become beneficial for the environment. Moreover, it brings benefits to the users and car owners by reducing the tip cost and saving fuel. In addition, it is widely used amongst users.

As you have learned about the process and understood the steps, now you have an idea about how you can build your own rideshare app. Uber, Lyft, and BlaBlaCar are the leading ridesharing and carpooling apps in the market to compete with.

Have an idea for creating a rideshare app? We have an expert team of developers and designers who have years of experience in developing applications. Approach us today. We are a leading software development company in Canada and have completed 100 projects successfully. Fill the query form below and get in touch with us to convert your idea into reality.

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Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel
Designation: Co-founder and CEO of Space-O Technologies

Mr. Rakesh Patel is a Founder and CEO of Space-O Canada. He has 28 years of IT experience in business strategies, operations & information technology. He has expertise in various aspects of business like project planning, sales, and marketing, and has successfully defined flawless business models for the clients. A techie by mind and a writer at heart, he has authored two books – Enterprise Mobility: Strategy & Solutions and A Guide To Open311.