With ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft now officially cleared to come to Upstate New York this summer, thousands of New Yorkers will get to experience the convenience for the first time. However, there are obvious risks associated with getting in a strangers car. While all Uber and Lyft drivers are background checked prior to being able to drive for the companies, there are still a few tips riders should keep in mind prior to hailing their first rideshare.
Confirm you have the correct car and driver: Uber and Lyft will provide you with your driver’s car model and license plate along with the driver’s name and picture. Confirm both the car model and plate number prior to opening the car door and confirm driver’s appearance and ask their name prior to getting in the car itself.
Wait inside until your car has arrived: One of the best benefits of ridesharing is that you can track your car through GPS and know when it arrives to pick you up. This eliminates having to wait out on the curb as one might have to do while hailing a taxi. Avoid waiting alone at night altogether.
When possible, don’t ride upfront: Unless you’re in a situation where your large group requires additional seats, only occupy seats in the back of a car. While the vast majority of drivers are very friendly and sociable, it is still a business transaction; these driver’s aren’t here to become your best friend. Choosing not to sit in the front seat can help avoid unwanted interaction or contact.
Share your location link: Both Lyft and Uber allow you to share your GPS coordinates with friends and family. This is beneficial because you can share your ETA, but it’s also crucial should there be any problems with your ride.
If you see something, say something: By no means should you be paranoid or on edge while using a ridesharing service, but be mindful and don’t be afraid to report any suspicious or uncomfortable behavior. Uber and Lyft allow riders to review their drivers to assure that any subpar or unprofessional drivers are no longer able to drive. Utilize these ratings systems and report problematic behavior.
Overall, ridesharing services offer convenience, are affordable transportation options and help to reduce drunk driving; we should all be very excited to have them in our communities! Stay mindful and safe and enjoy the ride.