The concept of ridesharing has been in existence for some time now. There has been a steady increase in the number of people using ride-sharing services due to the convenience it offers.
As advancements in technology occur each day it is only natural that efforts must be made to make the process of commuting simpler. Real-time ridesharing is a perfect example of such an effort.
How it evolved:
Some projects in the ridesharing space made their presence felt in the 1990s. However, they did not enjoy any real success. They had to face a few obstacles such as the process of developing a network of users and finding a convenient method of communication. Earlier rides were arranged using telephones. Slowly this shifted to using Internet, email and today one can perform this task using a smartphone. Today, real-time ridesharing is being used all over the globe with great success. Arranging a shared time in very short notice using elements such a smartphone, GPS and social networks is easy.
Ridesharing offers several advantages. Some of them may be more obvious but all of them are important nonetheless.
Easy to use:
One of the biggest advantages of using the services offered by ridesharing companies is that they make use of technologies which people use every day. Smartphones and social networks have become an essential part of the lives of millions worldwide. To use ridesharing, one would need to download the app of the specific company. Then sign up by creating an account and enter the required information about the ride that you need.
Creating a customized ride would need only a few swipes and it is quick and easy. You could also get an estimated cost of the ride before you travel. Paying is convenient as it is possible to do so using credit cards. This saves the hassle of carrying cash. You could track the driver using the GPS feature of the smartphone. Usually, a text message is sent to the passenger to inform about the arrival of the driver.
Carpooling or ridesharing helps to reduce costs considerably. One need not own a car and spend money on its insurance and maintenance. It also helps to avoid the stress about the safety of the car and ensuring that it is not broken into or stolen. With the aim of encouraging ridesharing, some cities also have initiatives to reward those who choose to carpool by offering money and prizes. Some rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft also offer discounts regularly. For more information about these companies, visit www.rydely.com.
Better for the environment:
The increase in the number of automobiles directly impacts the quality of air. This can be harmful especially for young children and the elderly. Harmful emissions can be cut almost by half if one chooses to carpool as a means of commuting. Hence it is not only beneficial for individuals but also for the community and environment. Only when the number of vehicles on the roads reduce, will there be a decrease in vehicular air pollution.
Ridesharing can help to reduce the number of vehicles and thus decongest roads. When congestion is reduced, commute time decreases and fuel consumption is reduced as well. Many major cities in the world have dedicated lanes for vehicles that have two or more passengers to encourage ridesharing. These carpool lanes are usually less congested and can cut down a considerable amount of time commuting.
For those individuals who drive to work, the time spent driving requires complete concentration and focus. Using ridesharing helps to make the most of this precious time by finishing tasks such as checking and answering emails, reading the news, etc. Thus, it can help to make the day more productive.
Beneficial for drivers too:
Apart from passengers, ridesharing can be beneficial for the drivers too. It offers flexibility in schedules and an extra source of income. Most ridesharing companies have very basic training given to their drivers. The drivers can work at their convenience and whenever they wish to. The amount of money earned directly depends on the amount of hard work put in. Some companies may even offer incentives and bonuses.
No standardized safeguards:
The lack of standardized safeguards is an important issue. It is up to the discretion of each company to put these safeguards in place. While most companies claim to follow rigorous inspections, screenings, and checks while hiring drivers, this is not something that can be established easily.
Another problem that some passengers may face is the lack of availability when you may need it the most. Some examples of such situations are rainy days or during high demand periods of commuting. Some companies may also not be able to offer spontaneous rides and passengers may need to plan their trip in advance. This might not be possible always.
Ridesharing is a convenient and cost-effective solution especially for those who live in areas that are not served by public transportation. Its advantages outweigh the disadvantages but one must be aware of the risks involved at least until the regulations are put in place.