Car Culture

Have You Ever Tried a Car Sharing App?

February 12, 2015
Uber is one of the biggest buzzwords around the Internet these days, so I figured it’s time to join in the conversation! Car sharing apps like Uber are popping up all over the place, and really changing the landscape of the rental car world. Just like Airbnb has done for people seeking a place to stay overnight, Uber has allowed people to quickly and inexpensively catch a ride to wherever they need to go. Before I go any further, I have to admit, I heard the word “Uber” over and over before I actually figured out what it is. 🙂 So if you are still in the dark like I was, here’s a brief synopsis. Uber is a smartphone app that allows people traveling and in need of a ride to get set up with uncertified drivers (people like you and me) for a much lower rate than the average taxi cab. Users can request rides and track their reserved vehicle’s location, all from their phone. Of course people appreciate the lower rates, but users also like the ability to cut through red tape and also connect with interesting people who have a job as a drive with Uber to easily make extra money. They get to meet locals, get tips about the area and have a unique experience on the road, just like people who stay with locals via Airbnb or Couch Surfing. There are many other apps that use a similar model, such as Sidecar, which allows you to share rides with other travelers, and Lyft, which let’s you hitch a ride with a background-screened driver. These type of businesses have gotten some backlash from taxi companies and the government, which feel that it is threatening the taxi model, promoting activity similar to illegal hitchhiking and posing safety issues for passengers. Most of these companies are only available for use in a handful of major cities in America, but it seems like they’ll be quickly spreading throughout the country, at this rate. So no matter what you think about the topic, you may have a chance to try it out soon! I’ve heard of many people who have had great experiences with these apps, so I’m very curious to hear your thoughts. Is this an unnecessary uproar over new technology people aren’t used to? Or a serious concern that could get out of control fast if we don’t do something about it? Tell me your opinion in the comments below!

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