Lesson 1: What Is Ridesharing?

Hello and welcome to your first lesson at the Rideshare Academy. In this lesson, we will cover the term ridesharing, what it is, and how it is primarily used in modern applications.

Whether you have used major ridesharing companies before or are new to the word and concept entirely, we will cover top to bottom and bottom to top the ins and outs of ridesharing and what it means to become a rideshare driver.

What is Ridesharing?

So, what is ridesharing? Ridesharing, by definition, is any means of transportation in which multiple people use the same car, truck, van, or vehicle to arrive at a similar destination. Ridesharing can include carpooling and sharing taxis, as well.

Companies such as Lyft and Uber fall under the umbrella of ridesharing. More specifically, these services are often called real-time, on-demand, or peer-to-peer ridesharing. This means that the user of the service can request transportation in real-time. Once the driver receives your information and location, they head to your destination to provide transportation.

To illustrate the difference, think of your local taxi company. The drivers of this service are required to carry a commercial license to transport passengers. Uber, on the other hand, does not require it’s drivers to carry anything other than a standard vehicle operators license making them a peer-to-peer or on-demand ridesharing service.

Pretty cool huh?

The Rideshare Platform

Now that you know what ridesharing is, let’s talk about how the platform works on mobile devices.

This is the Lyft ridesharing app on iOS for Lyft Line.

Modern day ridesharing is rather simple. People use an app to drop a pin onto their current location. The registered drivers in the area then get a notification that someone is requesting a ride.

Through the app, they accept the ride and use an integrated GPS service to drive to where the customer has dropped the pin. Once the driver arrives, the customer is taken to their desired destination and dropped off. The transaction is carried out entirely through the app and there is no processing of money outside the riders mobile phone making it safer for the consumer.

So, ridesharing solves a couple of the major issues that you find with taxis and public transportation. Bus stops and terminals can be an epicenter for crime, because this service is cheap and relies on cash transactions. Taxis, while typically safer than public transit, can also be problematic for making payments.

Generally speaking, ridesharing costs fall between the costs of public transportation and taxicabs.  So why would people use ridesharing when they can save money and just take public transportation?

Besides the safety factor, public transportation relies on set schedules and services only some areas provide, whereas ridesharing is available when the passenger wants it and it can go wherever is desired.

Fun Fact: Uber processes over 2 million rides per day across the United States and leads all ridesharing companies with a staggering 6.3b net worth.

Reasons to Rideshare

Ridesharing has many uses in modern society including reducing emissions and lowering your carbon footprint.

Here are some great ways and reasons to rideshare:

  • Concerts & Events – Ridesharing to and from concerts and events helps eliminate the need to find parking spaces when you arrive.
  • Drinking & Driving – Drinking and driving accounts for over 10,000 deaths per year. When you use a ridesharing service after enjoying your time out on the town, you eliminate the risk of getting a DUI or hurting someone.
  • Car Expenses – Depending on how far you rideshare daily, it may actually be much cheaper to forgo owning any type of car or vehicle. With a car payment and insurance obligation, you may be looking at $300 – $700 per month!
  • Local Economy – Ridesharing has brought thousands of jobs back to America. In fact, Uber it’s self has over 327,000 drivers stateside in the United States. This in turn leads to a huge boost in the local economy.
  • Cheaper Than Taxi’s – it’s no secret. Most people know that Uber or Lyft is cheaper than a Taxi, and so are most ridesharing services! Since the company does not have to maintain fleet cars or pay for commercial insurance, ridesharing companies can pass the savings on to you!
  • Going Green – If you’re not driving a car to and from work everyday and are carpooling with another, it is safe to say that you are taking the first step to reducing your own personal carbon footprint.
  • Public Transportation – Using a ridesharing service is safer than taking the bus. Think about this – have the people on the bus with you undergone a background check just to be able to be there with you?
  • Restricted Areas – While bus’s and Taxi cabs can only travel down certain roads and through certain routes, rideshare drivers are virtually free to drive wherever they please to get you to your destination safely, and in one piece!
  • Always Available – Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing services are available around the clock 24/7. Where as with bus’s and some Taxi cab companies, you are on their time schedule. With ridesharing, drivers are on yours.
  • It’s Fun – Simply put, ridesharing can be very fun. You will always have a new driver and engaging in striking conversation with them could lead to other potential avenues or long term business relationships!

These are just a few reasons that people use ridesharing services like Lyft or Uber. What are some of the reasons you do? Have you ever tried Lyft, Uber or another rideshare service – or is this your first experience with ridesharing?

What is Ridesharing Recap

Below are some questions about this module. Take the time to consider the information you have read and answer these questions in your head.

1.) What is the difference between ridesharing and peer-to-peer ridesharing?
2.) What is real-time ridesharing?
3.) Do ridesharing apps require you to exchange money or take payment from riders?
4.) Does Uber, Lyft, or other on-demand ridesharing companies require you to have a special license?
5.) Think about the three most important reasons that you use ridesharing or would use ridesharing if you had to. Make a mental note of these three reasons.
6.) How many rides per day does Uber processes on it’s platform?