Ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft have become increasingly popular over the past 6 years and although a large amount of the population is familiar with these services, they are certainly still foreign to lots of people. Here's some helpful hints and tips that will make your transition from standard taxis to ride sharing services as smooth as possible.
Download the app
This is an obvious hint as having the app on your phone will be a requirement in order to use their services. The apps are free to download and will only ask for your credit card to keep on file for future fares. REMEMBER: Make sure the "location" feature is turned on your phone. Otherwise the drivers won't be able to find you.
Choose the proper vehicle/fare
Once you're in the app and ready to order a pickup, you'll notice that Uber offers all types of vehicles to pick you up. Ranging from uberX all the way to LUX, there's a car and fee for nearly any scenario. To get an estimate on the fare you'll pay for each service, simply choose the service, click on pickup location, choose the location and click on fare estimate. This will give you a range of cost for the ride from your pickup to destination and is incredibly helpful when deciding the best option for yourself.
Don't request a ride until you're ready
In speaking with lots of ride sharing operators there's nothing they hate more than reaching their pickup location and having to wait for an extended amount of time. Time is money to these operators and having to wait 5 or more minutes for someone that requested a ride is not something they are interested in doing. Keep in mind that you are able to rate the drivers on a 1 to 5 star scale; however, that rating system goes both ways as the drivers can rate the passengers as well. If you become a passenger with a low star rating, you're never going to get picked up again.
Speaking of rating
If your driver does a good job, always give them a great rating, which equates to 5 stars. If you give them less than that it can penalize them more dramatically then one might think. If you believe the driver did something deserving less than 5 stars, it's ok to give them a lower rating but be prepared to be contacted by Uber or Lyft fairly quickly to find out why you didn't get the 5 star experience.
Tip or No Tip
One of the greatest things about services like Uber and Lyft are their ease of use. When you initially set up your account you give them a credit card to charge your fares so there's never a need to carry cash or have your credit card ready to pay your driver at the end of a ride. You simply say "thank you" and get out of the car. Although tipping is completely optional, if you choose to tip your driver it would need to be done in cash directly to them. Most ride sharing operators are grateful for the gesture no matter how small it may be.
Hopefully these tips help put you at ease when it comes to using ride sharing services. On a related note, if you happen to be a ride sharing operator OR if you are considering becoming one, please click here to read about some new important insurance coverage available.