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Ride Sharing Apps: Driving Change On The Road

23 Aug , 2013  

Need a ride?  Trouble hailing a cab?  Looks like a slew of startups are counting on it.  Peer-to-peer ride share apps are all the craze and making headlines across the country.
Apps like Uber, Lyft, SideCar and InstantCab are thriving off of this trend and letting normal people, not just taxi drivers, transport others around town.  So, what’s all the fuss about?

Well earlier this summer, Los Angeles pretty much declared war on these ride sharing apps when City Hall wrote a letter claiming criminal charges would be applied if the companies didn’t shut down.  They were deemed to be in violation of the city’s taxi regulations.  But don’t count these startups out, because they are crafty in their ways!  They claim that their offerings are more akin to “charter party passenger carriers” rather than taxis, which puts them in the clear.  So, for now at least, they are still on the road.
Personally, I think of other issues, like safety for instance! Yes, both Lyft and Uber offer insurance, but many consumers have questions about how vetted the drivers are.  While Uber cars are owned by company partners- namely, limo and driver services- Lyft cars are owned by other everyday people.   But these potential downfalls don’t stop more and more rideshareapps from coming out.
For now, take a look at the two main ones here in LA, as well as the taxi franchise’s app- likely a response to the new movement.
UBER: (download for free) Allows you to hail a limo or car to your exact location via phone.  Payment is all set up in the app itself so the process is seamless.
LYFT: (download for free) Seen the pink mustaches on cars around town?  That’s Lyft, which allows everyday Joes to make a few extra bucks by driving around people who need rides.  These two groups connect through the Lyft app.
TAXI MAGIC: (download for free) This is the taxi franchise’s app, which is a decent try I suppose.  But the bad thing is that since the cabs are all governed by different regulations, the app is not seamless and you have to call different places depending on if you are in Beverly Hills, Hollywood or Downtown.
Have you tried a ridesharing app? Which is your favorite?

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