Ridesharing is a mode of transportation that has been around for less than a decade. The method involves customers hiring private cars for travel, as well as letting drivers earn money from transporting customers. The whole method is done through Smartphone applications, the most notable of which being Uber and Lyft. Basically, the companies allow you a cashless payment system for travel using a privately-owned vehicle.
How does ridesharing work?
For a customer to avail of this service, they simply have to download the app, and provide credit card details and a billing address. To book a ride, the place of origin (usually handled by the smartphone’s GPS if you are booking for yourself) and the place of destination (manually selected using the app’s UI) are selected. The app’s system then automatically matches you with any nearby drivers in your area. Should the driver accept your booking, a notification reaches your phone, and gives you a countdown or an ETA, as well as the photo of the driver, and the car details.
Once inside the vehicle, the driver “starts” the trip (done on his app UI), and “ends” the trip the same way. Once the trip has ended and you have reached your destination, your credit card is automatically charged, with a receipt showing you of the total costs. Feedback and rating of the driver are then given, and you are on your way.
For one thing, both companies have created such a loyal fan base so that more people opt to avail of a Lyft or Uber rideshare instead of hailing a taxi cab. People feel more security and convenience from using the app. You don’t have to worry about having money on you at all times since payment is cashless.
Second, you feel more secure because you know who your driver is, and if ever you encounter any problems, you can provide feedback about it immediately.
Lastly, the majority of the cars are clean and tidy. As compared to the majority of poorly-maintained taxi cabs, the cars used in ridesharing are all private ones. So, you can expect the majority of these cars to be well-maintained, as they are used for purposes other than ridesharing.
What does this mean for the taxi industry?
This fairly new concept of Lyft or Uber rideshare has affected the taxi industry in many ways. In many major cities over the world, protests from taxi drivers have been heard, but little to no success have been seen.
Much to the taxi industry’s dismay, a system of carpooling like ones dubbed as the “ridester experience” have been introduced to help riders and drivers. For instance, Ridester, partner of top ridesharing apps, now provides a carpooling service through these apps. They allow customers going the same way to share a ride at a fraction of the price. This has appealed to even more customers since it offers the same convenience and security as other ridesharing apps, giving you the ultimate ridester experience.
All in all, the taxi industry has faced a decrease in customers because of the rise of these apps. It is too much to say that it is a dying industry, but as of now, it has certainly declined.