Getting around is an important part of everyday life. Whether commuting to work and back, going to the shops or visiting friends and family – transport is an essential part of life. Nowadays, consumers have more options than ever to get around. Public transport, owning a car, using ridesharing services or traditional taxis are some of the main options available to commuters.
When it comes to using rideshare versus catching a taxi, the difference can be somewhat vague. Both rideshare providers and taxi’s offer travelers the ability to get a ride using their phones, but they aren’t exactly the same.
What Is a Rideshare Provider?
Rideshare providers are companies that allow their customers to get a ride using an app on their mobile phone, or even a website. Rideshare provider customers simply log into their app, choose their destination and book a ride.
A pool of drivers make use of the app to see where there are commuters, as well as where these commuters are heading. If a trip seems doable, the driver accepts the job, fetches the commuter for his/her current location and drops them off at their destination.
Currently, two of the biggest rideshare companies in the market are Uber and Lyft.
The rise of technology is largely responsible for the popularity of rideshare services that use an app. The ease of ordering a ride on an app makes rideshare services a quite attractive option for a lot of modern consumers.
An important distinction making rideshare providers stand out is their relationship with their drivers. While traditional taxi services employ their own drivers, rideshare providers merely offer a service that connects independent drivers to passengers. These drivers are often self-employed drivers making use of the app to get customers. In some cases, drivers might also work for a company which uses a rideshare app as a platform to gain clientele.
However, in both cases the drivers aren’t directly associated with the rideshare provider. The service offered by rideshare providers isn’t actually transportation, as the provider won’t own the cars that passengers travel in or employ the drivers. In reality, rideshare providers are service providers that bring together passengers and drivers on one easily accessible app. When viewed in that way, the service rideshare providers offer is their app.
Rideshare vs Ride-Hailing Meanings
Traditionally speaking, the services offered by rideshare providers isn’t what ridesharing was all about. The more accurate word for these, and any other taxi service is ride-hailing.
Ridesharing usually refers more to carpooling, where different passengers share the same car to travel to a destination. Often, carpooling passengers have the same final destination in terms of the city, town or area they’re traveling to, but they’re looking to go to a different physical address.
Ride-hailing is the same as calling a taxi or booking a ride on an app, where the passenger books to go to a destinatioSn of their own choice down to the exact physical address.
Regardless of the traditional differences between ridesharing and ride-hailing in technical definition, apps like Uber and Lyft call themselves ridesharing providers. The term by which these companies refer to themselves can’t really be disputed. However, it’s clear from the original definitions that rideshare providers actually came into the market providing ride-hailing services.
Almost everyone is familiar with traditional taxis. The history of taxis goes all the way back to the 17th century, when horse-drawn carriages where used as a means of transportation. Since then, cars have come onto the scene, which has made traveling in a taxi a lot faster and more convenient.
When passengers wish to ride in a taxi, there are multiple ways to get a ride. One of these ways is to stand on the street, wait for a taxi cab to pass by and to hail a ride. The other way is to make a phone call and book a ride to your intended destination.
Neither of these options are quite as convenient as using an app, but that doesn’t mean taxi services aren’t useful anymore. There are many occasions where a taxi service can be a much better choice than using a rideshare provider.
Unlike with rideshare providers, taxi services employ their own drivers and own all their cars. The benefit in this is that all the cars look the same, as many passengers hail a ride while standing next to the road, taxi’s are usually bright yellow. This allows them to stand out among other cars.
Rideshare vs Taxi’s: Which is Better?
Both rideshare and taxi’s are accessible options for passengers to get around. Neither one is specifically bad, although are instances in which one could be better than the other.
All taxi service companies are required by law to have insurance. This insurance is to cover any damages in the case of an accident, regardless of whether it’s physical injury or damage to property.
This means that customers traveling with a taxi to their intended destination are covered in the event of an accident. Valuable goods can also be transported onboard a taxi, as damage to these goods will be covered by insurance if they’re damaged in an accident.
Rideshare companies must also comply with the law, and so these companies also offer insurance for every car that’s registered with them. While many passengers believe rideshare services aren’t insured, this is illegal and these companies couldn’t operate if that were the case.
On top of the insurance offered by the rideshare provider, the individual driver’s car insurance might also pay out in the case of injury during an accident, although this amount most probably won’t amount to much for Miami drivers, as the minimum insurance requirements in Florida aren’t very high.
Driver Background Checks
Both taxi services and rideshare providers do checks on drivers beforehand. The minimum requirements for individual taxi companies and rideshare providers can differ. However, it’s common for both types of companies to require drivers to have a minimum of 5 to 7 years without felony charges before application.
Both taxi companies and rideshare providers also offer service quality control. In the case of rideshare providers, customers can rate their driver in the app. This encourages drivers to offer good service and behave in a professional manner during trips, as drivers with higher ratings are often rewarded by the app. Customers will also complain about getting a driver with a low rating, so too many low ratings could mean the end of a driver’s career.
With taxi services, customers are encouraged to report unprofessional behavior from drivers directly to the taxi service. Unprofessionalism or bad driving are major concerns and a driver that causes too much concern could lose their job.
Some taxi services also do additional checks on drivers, such as fitness aptitude tests and driving tests to check coordination and reaction times while driving.
Rideshare companies normally charge based on the current demand. What this means is that peak hour traffic times will be much more expensive than traveling at midnight, for instance. This could lead to extremely high costs for trips during peak hours.
Taxi services usually charge a flat rate based on the distance of a trip, although some companies might slightly adjust their rates during rush hour times, as trips will take longer in congested traffic.
However, taxi services are generally much cheaper for traveling in peak times than rideshare. Because so many consumers use rideshare services, the spike in demand for trips on rideshare apps in peak hour will show in the price you pay for a trip.
An additional cost associated with taxi services is tipping the driver. However, tips are optional and passengers can give drivers better tips based on their level of professionalism and how safely they drive.
Transporting Many Passengers
Both rideshare providers and taxi services make use of 5-seater sedans for transporting passengers. Because of this, all cars can transport a maximum of 4 passengers per trip, as one seat is always reserved for the driver.
To transport more than 4 passengers, an additional car has to be booked.
However, when scheduling a ride in advance, such as collection from an airport or party, calling a taxi service is better for transporting many passengers. This is because all cars will leave to collect passengers from the same location at the same time. The drivers will drive together and the taxis will arrive to collect passengers together. This allows passengers to drive together to their destination and arrive at the same time.
When booking two or more cars with a rideshare service, the drivers will most likely travel from different locations and arrive to pick up passengers at different times.
To conclude, both rideshare services and taxis are good options for transport. However, there are still cases where taxis can be cheaper or more practical to use than rideshare services.