Last month marked ten years since the launch of one of the world’s most popular rideshare networks, Uber. Since then, it has been joined by countless other car service networks, such as Lyft , Go-Jek, Grab, and Bolt. These networks are known for their convenience and competitive fares…but unfortunately, there is sometimes cause for concern about passenger safety.
Here are a few tips to help ensure good rideshare experiences:
As always, plan ahead.
What are the best ways to travel in your destination? A little research can go a long way. Just as safety and security can vary by location, they can also vary by transportation method. In addition, be aware that local legislation may have a dramatic effect on rideshare availability, service hours, pickup locations, and fares. This is particularly true for transportation to and from airports. It’s also important to know that in many cities, taxi companies provide apps that are similar to rideshare apps. Download the apps you plan to use before visiting your destination. Set up payment methods within apps, where applicable. Doing this ensures that you are prepared when you arrive, and can mean considerable savings on your mobile Internet usage.
When possible, rideshare with a group.
While this is advisable for safety reasons, it can also be more economical. Rideshare fares can be affected by a number of different types of surcharges, including rush hour fees, but additional passenger or baggage fees are less common.
Use all of the information you receive from the rideshare app.
When you order a rideshare, many apps provide the vehicle’s color, make and model, license plate information, and a driver photo. Use those details, in that order, to identify your ride as it approaches. Rideshare apps give drivers and riders each others’ first names. Listen for or ask drivers to call you by name first, then confirm their name before you board. If any of the in-person details do not match the app, decline the ride and contact the rideshare network.
Give someone you know access to where you are.
Before you get in a rideshare car, van, or minibus, tell a friend or family member where you are going, and when to expect a call or text that you have arrived at your destination. Allowing a trusted person to track your travel can be a valuable safety tool as well. If the rideshare app you are using does not provide this capability, there are a number of other options. They include Find My Friends for iOS, and Trusted Contacts, Glympse, and Life360 for both iOS and Android phones.