Transportation Made More Social

Rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft have had taxi companies shaking in their boots for some time now.

People are flocking to these apps en masse because they offer a lower price than their competitors for what riders rate as a superior service. Since the app gives you real time updates as to how far a driver is, people enjoy not having to wait idly and hope that their ride shows up in time for them to get where they need to go. On top of that, there are some extra benefits to rideshare apps that many people have probably taken advantage of but haven’t taken the time to appreciate: the newly added social aspect. Not sure what I mean? Let me explain:

Drivers Are Independent Contractors, Not Employees

Previously taxi drivers were seen almost as faceless extensions of the company they worked for, people driving a company car and doing a job. But those working for a rideshare app are people who are using their own cars and just taking some extra time out of their day to get some extra spending cash. This has made for a much wider range of people offering their car & time to help people get around town. And since these people have their own lives completely separate, they are a lot more personable and down-to-earth than the average overworked cabbie. The typical rideshare driver is much more willing to have an engaging and interesting conversation with you because they’re just average people working for themselves under Uber or Lyft’s guidance as opposed to hard and fast employees that have to toe the company line. Of course, there are rules, but drivers for rideshare apps are given much more leeway in how they chose to complete their fares.

Pooling Options Give You The Opportunity To Network While You Save Money

Drivers who have a larger vehicle like a van will often offer their services for offshoot services. Instead of focusing on a single fare, many different riders all with different destinations will be picked up and dropped off one by one, kind of like a miniature bus or private shuttle service. It’s appealing to drivers because they get to take on multiple fares at once, and it’s appealing to riders because they save money on their fare overall at the cost of a bit of time being added to their journey since it’s unlikely they’ll be the one picked up last and dropped off first. This gives people the opportunity to meet and chat with other people in their city in a way much like striking up a conversation on public transit, except with a much more different crowd and in a much more personable way. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised in a few years if one of my married friends tell me they met in an UberPool or Lyft.

Driver Ratings Make For Incredibly Personal Service

To weed out bad drivers and bad riders, all rideshare apps operate using a rating system, typically one out of five stars. Drivers with higher ratings are given higher priority fares that pay better and other benefits that lower-rated drivers do not. On top of that, a higher rated driver is more likely to be matched with higher rated riders, meaning that they’ll get customers that are easier to deal with. To keep their ratings high drivers have connected with people on a much more personal level and made getting a ride somewhere much more comfortable. It isn’t uncommon for an Uber or Lyft driver to offer a bottle of water or a snack, complete with a cute little garbage can if they really want to go the extra mile. Besides physical, tangible extras, many drivers try and make riding with them a fully encompassing experience that deals with social extras that lots of people like. Drivers can crack jokes, tell stories, or if you wish stay silent the entire ride to help you focus on whatever you’re doing. Essentially, drivers are more than willing to go the extra mile to keep their riders comfortable with ridesharing apps as opposed to traditional taxi services.

No matter how much governments or taxi companies protest, it appears that rideshare apps are here to stay and they aren’t going away any time soon. They simply provide a service that people love to plug into and have at their disposal at any time of the day. It’s a much more humanizing and genuine experience than getting a taxicab, and the lower price & higher quality of service definitely helps too.