Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing services can make it easy to get a quick car ride or make some extra income, and they’re only becoming more popular. In fact, in the cities where these platforms are available, taxi ridership has declined anywhere from 10 to 30 percent. However, the convenience of ride-sharing isn’t without risks. Most ride-sharing businesses are in the early stages of development, and the popularity, risk management and compliance issues they’re facing are all in uncharted territory.
How the Apps Work
Each ride-sharing service has its differences, but they all operate under the same basic concept. Almost anyone can be a driver for these services, but each one has different minimum standards for screening drivers and their vehicles. Passengers can then see available drivers and make a request for a ride through an app on their smartphones.
Most apps display the driver’s route and estimated time of arrival, in addition to the driver’s name, photo and vehicle information. The ride-sharing service then takes a cut of the fare, typically between 20 to 25 percent, for each ride a driver completes.
These apps are convenient for passengers who need a ride and for drivers looking to supplement their income. Still, they’re not without flaws. For example, it can be hard to determine what regulations or local laws each service and its drivers need to follow, what insurance coverages apply to them and who is considered liable in the event of an accident.
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