The Pitfalls of Ridesharing

As the popularity of ride sharing apps like Uber and Lyft continue to grow, it is important for consumers to understand the risks of hitching a ride with one of these services. Here are few things to consider when using one a ride sharing app..

UNFORESEEN PRICE HIKES

Although a service like Uber might seem like an affordable option at first, it often charges its customers more during "peak hours." Uber uses "surge pricing" where the normal rates increase to account for the greater number of cars needed. While the company is upfront about how much the rates increase, the price changes are still an inconvenience for travelers.

Comparatively, with a reliable car service, the rates are fixed and straightforward. You'll also know what you're getting right when you book your trip, and you won't have to scramble for a contingency plan because the ride you thought would be your number one choice actually costs too much money. 

INSUFFICIENT INSURANCE COVERAGE

There have been numerous warnings from various local and state government agencies, though, stating that ridesharing insurance is inadequate. Uber and Lyft services were halted indefinitely in Pittsburgh in July 2014 by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to check if the companies have adequate insurance, appropriate driver background checks and inspections. Other governments have taken similar action.

NOT AUTHORIZED BY MANY LOCAL MUNICIPALITIES

Because Lyft and Uber are not regulated or licensed in some cities, such as traditional taxi services, they have received some pushback.

The issues regarding how and if rideshare companies should be regulated has found its way to many city councils in recent months. The Minneapolis City Council, for example, recently legalized ridesharing services, which allows the city to regulate and license them.

 

POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE

The nature of Uber makes it easy to use, but the company's right-this-minute approach also means its passengers rarely, if ever, walk away from a truly excellent transportation experience.