Introduction to Ride Shares

Are you new to accessing ride shares?  I’d bet you’re feeling little bit nervous about requesting your very first ride.  Below  are some introductory questions for newbies to ride sharing.  Be sure to keep an eye on the blog for a variety of ride sharing articles to come.


What Are Ride Shares?


Ride sharing services provide on-demand drivers via a mobile or web application.  These services are typically drivers that work as independent contractors for the service that they drive for and use their own personal vehicles.    The drivers receive a percentage of the fee that you pay which is based on a combination of time, distance and a booking fee.


Ride share services are typically cheaper than using a taxi service and in my opinion are far more reliable and easier to access especially in smaller cities.  The fee will typically be more expensive  than using public transportation although it will likely be more convenient.  


Although there are a variety of ride share services available, in the United States the two most popular are Uber and Lyft


 Are the apps accessible?


Both Uber and Lyft apps are accessible with screen readers on mobile phones.  Each interface is different with different features and you may prefer one over the other, however rest assured that both apps are user friendly.


How do I pay for my ride?


The beauty of ride sharing technology is that you do not need to expose your credit card to a driver and you can see exactly how much your fare is.  Gone are the days where you are left wondering if that sketchy taxi driver really charged you the right amount or worrying about receiving incorrect change.


Are ride shares safe??


Ride sharing apps offer a variety of safety features for both riders and drivers.  As a rider you have the option to share your trip with anyone you desire right from the app.  The app will send your trusted friend or family member a link to a live map of your trip as well as details about your driver and his or her vehicle.  Additionally, all of the drivers on the platforms are background checked per each state’s regulations and regularly have to update their information (car inspections, registration, driver’s license, etc,) in order to remain active on the platform.  Lastly, drivers and riders are not provided with each other’s personal information.  Even when you contact your driver by phone or  text, you are assigned a ghost number so that there is no risk of getting unwanted calls or texts from the driver after the ride is complete.


Are ride shares reliable?


Ride shares depend on a large network of drivers that are independent contractors.  In most markets that have ride shares the wait time and reliability is far better than that of a traditional taxi service.  Typically you can expect to wait approximately 2 – 10 minutes for your ride to arrive with most rides arriving closer to the lower end of the estimate.


What about my dog guide, can I bring him or her along for the ride?


Ride sharing companies have strong service animal policies.  Drivers are not allowed to refuse to provide a ride to you and your service animal despite what they may say.  The drivers agree to these terms when they sign their contracts with the ride sharing companies.


What do I do if I have an unpleasant experience?


As with any service, occasionally you may have a driver that is less than stellar.  When this happens you have a few options to ensure that your concerns are addressed.


Firstly, you may rate the driver 2 stars or below on the app.  When this happens you will not be matched with this driver again and sometimes the ride share company will reach out to you directly to see what happened.


Next, you can reach out to the ride share company directly via their support email, social media or directly in the app to let them know what happened.  If something particularly egregious or unsafe happened, you may also reach out to the ride share company using their critical incident contact centers.  This can also be found on the ride share company’s website.


Additional Questions?


Do you have more specific questions that you would like to be addressed?  Leave me a comment and I’ll be sure to address it in a future post.  Happy riding!

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