Using rideshare companies such as Uber or Lyft has become common for travelers, offering convenience and reasonable upfront price quotes. This article will help to give you the basics of the popular two companies, Uber and Lyft.
Currently, you need to wear a mask while riding in either Uber or Lyft; no mask, no ride, so plan accordingly.
What is ridesharing?
Ridesharing, in a nutshell, is when a company connects a driver with a passenger via an app; for more information, click here.
How to get started with Uber and Lyft
- Download the app for Uber or Lyft (if you haven’t already)
- Set up an account with your photo and debit or credit card (your image is for the driver’s safety, and so they can identify you)
- Put your destination into the app.
- Follow instruction
- When the car arrives to verify that the vehicle and driver match the information provided on the app
Not Just Anyone Can Drive For Rideshares
Rideshare companies use a vetting process for hiring drivers; You can check Lyft and Uber’s criteria. The main takeaway is these companies check not only driving history but also conducts criminal background checks.
Watch Out For Scammers
Sadly not all people follow the rules and are looking to scam or harm you. Rideshare companies do their best to keep you safe, but unfortunately, scammers are out there. You have to do your part to protect yourself as well. Point three has essential tips on avoiding scammers.
Tips for Using Rideshares
For A Successful & Safe Trip
- Plan a safe trip; make sure your pick-up and drop-off points are safe places.
- Whenever possible, wait inside for your ride because imposter drivers look for people who appear to be waiting for a car; the app will send an alert when the driver arrives.
- Before entering a vehicle, check for a company logo displayed in the window, and verify that driver and vehicle information matches the app’s info. The app gives you the car’s color, brand/model, license plate number, along with the driver’s name and photo. If none of these matches, take it as a red flag. Either that car is not your or ride, or it is an imposter driver. Never tell the driver your name; ask the driver who they are picking up first before giving them any information. Drivers app shows the name of whom they are picking up, so they should know your name.
- For your safety, sit in the back seat when possible.
- Sharing is caring, tell a friend that you hired a car and where you are going. A simple text with your plans, sending a screenshot of the information, or you can hit the “share status” once your trip has started are ways you can inform others. That way, someone you trust knows the details in case something goes wrong.
- Protect your information because there is never a reason to give any personal information to a driver. Billing and payments are made in the app using the card you have on file, and drivers do not take cash payments. Uber anonymizes phone numbers for everyone’s safety, so drivers do not need your phone number.
- Let your gut be your guide if something feels wrong or dangerous, safely leave the car, and for an emergency, call 911
- Rate your driver; this gives the parent company feedback on how their drivers are doing; a rating is crucial for good drivers and not-so-great drivers.
- Be kind and respectful to your driver; remember, you are riding in their car.
The chance of something terrible happening is low. But by following these suggestions, you’ll be safer and help you avoid fake drivers who want to cheat the system or hurt you.
Be safe and travel safe!
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Photos in this article are courtesy of Uber