The Problem with Ride-sharing by Julia B.

March 23, 2021


The Problem with Ride-sharing

Just imagine: you just had a great night out with your friends, and you need a ride home. Your friends can not take you home, and you have no one to call to pick you up because it is late. What is the next best option: rideshare. You open your Uber or Lyft app to find a driver that can take you home. They come, and you climb into the backseat, knowing that the next place you will be is your house. Once the car is stopped, you climb out of the car and the car drives away. You arrive at your home, and think to yourself about the great night you just had. That ride was a really nice and easy way to get home. However, each ride may not be that simple. Car accidents occur, unsafe drivers can threaten the safety of the passenger, and the passenger could possibly never end up going home. But no one thinks about the negatives as they climb into their vehicle. Maybe they should. 

Ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft need the passenger’s location to be able to pick up the passenger. However, “if riders don’t turn off location access after completing their rides the app could potentially track and collect data around the clock on where the user is, where they go, and, sometimes, even how long they stay there” (“How Ridesharing Services Can Take Your Privacy for a Ride”). This quote addresses the problem of the ridesharing companies having access to the passenger’s location for as long as the passenger leaves their location on for. For example, if a passenger arrives at their destination and does not turn off their location, the driver potentially has all the information they need to hunt the passenger down and possibly hurt them. This problem does not change on the age of the passenger; a 16 year old girl could be tracked, and so could an elderly man. The consequences of location sharing have no mercy for who the passenger is, which is why it is important for the passenger to turn off their location as soon as they can. 

We need to care about the issue of ridesharing because emergencies can always happen, and we need to be prepared at all times. Most apps “display the driver’s route and estimated time of arrival, in addition to the driver’s name, photo and vehicle information” (“The Dangers of Uber and Other Ride-Sharing Apps”). This is a problem because even though it discusses the information shared, it also implies that there is information that needs to be shared that currently is not. For example, the customer does not see what kind of insurance the driver has, so the customer does not know if they will be covered in a car accident. The uncertainty will deter the amount of customers these companies will receive. 

There are more rules and regulations that need to be changed as well. Taxis “have fallen in popularity in part because ridesharing services offer more conveniences: instantaneous confirmation of ride requests, less-expensive rates, and typically a newer and more varied “fleet” of cars since they employ individual contracted drivers who use their personal cars” (“How Ridesharing Services Can Take Your Privacy for a Ride”). This quote addresses the problem of the differences in safety between ridesharing services and taxi services. Taxi services have much heavier and stricter safety measures, which ridesharing services should implement. Taxi services also have the drivers use the yellow cars; the drivers do not use their own cars, making the insurance issue disappear. These issues are preventing these ridesharing services from being the ideal form of transportation. If these rules and regulations are changed, people would feel more safe about using them. Improving safety should always be the number one concern, and yet, it does not seem like a priority for these companies.