RideSharing Controversies and Benefits
Ride Sharing is a fairly new service that has come about through the use of technology creating Controversies and Benefits.
What is RideSharing?
Wikipedia gives a fairly good understanding of RideSharing through the following quote.
“Real-time ridesharing (also known as instant ridesharing, dynamic ridesharing, ad-hoc ridesharing, on-demand ridesharing, dynamic carpooling, and provided by Transportation Network Companies) is a service that arranges one-time shared rides on very short notice. This type of carpooling generally makes use of three recent technological advances:
- GPS navigation devices to determine a driver’s route and arrange the shared ride
- Smartphones for a traveler to request a ride from wherever they happen to be
- Social networks to establish trust and accountability between drivers and passengers
These elements are coordinated through a network service, which can instantaneously handle the driver payments and match rides using an optimization algorithm.
Real-time ridesharing is promoted as a way to better utilize the empty seats in most passenger cars, thus lowering fuel usage and transport costs. It can serve areas not covered by a public transit system and act as a transit feeder service. Ridesharing is also capable of serving one-time trips, not only recurrent commute trips or scheduled trips.“
RideSharing above all, is a self regulating technology where each rider rates their experience with the RideSharing Company and the driver. With some companies, if a driver falls below a certain rating they are coached and encouraged to provide a better service. If their rating does not increase they no longer provide rides.
I am not familiar as to the exact differences of all RideSharing Companies. But I do know through experience that UBER and LYFT have certain requirements in order to be a driver. These requirements include, a Drivers License Check, a late model vehicle check, and an Insurance check for the vehicle in use. (How many taxi drivers are required to meet these standards.) UBER has their own insurance that goes into effect as soon as the rider and driver are connected and continues until the the rider departs from the drivers vehicle.
Another requirement is a SmartPhone. (Have you ever purchased a SmartPhone the background check you go through to get the service and phone is immense). I wonder if all taxi drivers are scrutinized as much as a person getting a drivers RideSharing App.
“RideSharing” is controversial to cities and taxi services due to its lack of local government regulation and the local governments claim of inadequate insurance for drivers or their passengers, and not ensuring that its drivers are properly licensed or trained by the local government.
It seems to me RideSharing boils down to local government regulation or consumer regulation. So far the consumers have shown their support by preferring and using RideSharing companies allowing them to expand their services with acceptance in the communities.
There are several companies providing RideSharing services that include UBER, LYFT, SideCar and Haxi. Check with each to find the area they service.