Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft are gaining significant traction across the world, as well as undeniable negative press for questionable employment practices and fare-setting schemes. Nonetheless, urban dwellers from San Francisco to Philadelphia are increasingly relying on these services to travel from Point A to Point B, and understandably so. After all, there are a lot of upsides to ridesharing aside from mere convenience and affordability.
The following examines the phenomenon of ridesharing, compares two of the major players in the industry, and discusses how ridesharing keeps our citizens safe from harm. To learn more about personal injury in Tennessee, or to discuss your rights post-accident, please contact a car accident lawyer from Hodges, Doughty & Carson, PLLC today.
How does ridesharing work?
The first step in accessing a vehicle via Uber or Lyft is downloading the appropriate app, which walks users through the process of “hailing” a ride and paying the fare. The apps are relatively easy to use, and they simply withdraw the money from your account after the ride, thereby eliminating the need to fool with cash or haggle over prices. Users sometimes have the option of splitting the cost of the ride between several other riders heading in the same direction.
Are there set rates and fares?
No, the rates and fares in each city for each service are not set in stone; the rates and fares assessed by Lyft or Uber will vary greatly depending on a number of factors, including:
- Time of day
- Demand for rides
- Type of vehicle requests
Both services include price sheets on their sites; however, each service increases its prices congruent with demand (called “surge pricing” by Uber and “prime time” by Lyft). This is common on holidays such as New Year’s Eve.
Each service offers different vehicles for different prices. UberX involves regular vehicles operated by independent contractors utilizing their own privately owned automobile to provide the service. The UberBLACK option involves the traditional black Town Car, while the UberLUX involves luxury models like Mercedes Benz and Rolls Royce. Lastly, the UberASSIST is available in select locations to transport those with disabilities.
On the Lyft side, only three options exist for those needing a ride: Lyft, Lyft Plus, and Lyft Line. Much like the UberX described above, the basic Lyft involves a privately owned vehicle and a more laid back, informal experience. For larger parties up to six passengers, Lyft Plus is available to shuttle passengers in an SUV setting. Lyft Line allows you to share a ride with people going the same way for a lower fare.
Be sure to check your location on the app first as certain options are only available in certain cities.
As rideshare companies continue to overshadow the traditional taxicab service, many are heralding the convenience and efficiency of the business model. However, as personal injury practitioners, we also see a much more important benefit to the idea: keeping intoxicated motorists away from the wheel.
By utilizing the simple Uber or Lyft services, you are playing a role in keeping drunk and impaired drivers off of our roads. Rideshare drivers are willing to take passengers from the city directly to their homes, allowing for a safe transport from the bars and nightclubs to their front doors. In the end, the nominal fee charged by these companies can help save a life—a true win-win for everyone.
Contact a Knoxville Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you are in need of a personal injury attorney to review the details of your recent accident—whether it involved a rideshare service or not—please do not hesitate to contact Hodges, Doughty & Carson, PLLC today at 865-292-2307.