Uber provides convenient transit
Sarah Pineda defends Uber and Lyft as viable forms of alternative transportation. | Uber_logotype.svg
Uber, an international transportation company valued at roughly $40 billion, acts as a convenient mode of transportation for those seeking a ride. For most people living in big cities such as New York City and Los Angeles, owning a car and driving it to work, school or anywhere during traffic seems like a struggle. Uber, however, eases the customer’s stress of traffic and finding a ride to their desired destination.
A HELPFUL TOOL
Another newer transportation company known as Lyft provides the same services but in fewer locations. Uber cars with a trademark "U" clearly distinguish themselves from Lyfts which place a pink fuzzy mustache on their dashboard. Both modes of alternative transportation help people get from one location to the next.
While many may see Ubers and Lyfts as dangerous because of their drivers’ involvement in past crimes, I think they are extremely helpful for people in any situation.
A BETTER ALTERNATIVE
During a trip I took to San Francisco this summer for a music festival, I noticed numerous Lyfts in the nearby streets of the music festival venue. Those who had a little too much to drink made the responsible decision by calling a Lyft rather than driving under the influence. This constitutes one of the most significant uses for these transportation companies – they provide safe rides home for those under the influence. Ubers and Lyfts keep our streets safer from drunk drivers who lack the ability to drive.
Ubers serve as a better alternative to taxis because their business model involves using an app to call for a ride. This provides a greater technological convenience over taxis. However, New York City taxis have created their own app called Arro to keep up with Uber’s technology. In this regard, taxis and alternative forms of transportation remain in fierce competition.
REQUESTING A RIDE
When requesting an Uber ride, you have the ability to see the car’s current location and how long until it arrives. The payment method also differs from taxis in that you do not need to directly pay the driver, but instead you pay through the app. This aspect accommodates modern-day times where most people pay by card instead of carrying cash.
While Uber receives criticism and accusations of dangerous and illegal activity like sexual assaults, this does not disrupt the company from providing millions of rides daily. Sexual assaults by Uber drivers have been the most negative headlining news from the company. However, the drivers are independent contractors, meaning they work on their own terms but have a contract with Uber.
BECOMING A DRIVER
In order to become an Uber driver, one must be at least 21 years old, have a car that was made made in the year 2000 or later and pass a background check. Additionally, the driver must pay an application fee, pass a background check and pass fingerprinting.
Despite recent reports of sexual assault accusations in the news, research is still being conducted on whether Ubers have a higher crime rate than taxis. Furthermore, I have multiple friends who took Ubers and arrived safely to their location with no troubles from their drivers.
Ubers and Lyfts are helpful services for many people with different transportation needs. If they find themselves stuck with no car, had a few too many drinks or prefer an easier payment method, these transportation companies aid those in need of a ride. Ubers and Lyfts are the better alternative.