There is nothing more comforting than getting a ride home after a long tiring day. Thanks to ridesharing, moving around couldn’t be easier and cheaper. You can commute short distances without overpaying for a traditional taxi company.

This article will tell you how ridesharing works, its benefits, and how you can earn money with a new side job.

What Is Ridesharing?

Initially, ridesharing was a kind of carpooling service where a driver had a destination and accompanied a passenger who covered half of the cost. In contrast, today, riders decide where they want to go, and a rideshare driver picks them up and delivers them to the given destination. As a result, ridesharing became a side job for many people who would like to earn more money. As for passengers, the rideshare is a service just like a taxi where the ride cost can be divided among people through the app.

Ridesharing is not classified as a part of the taxi industry simply because you can only request a car from your smartphone. Unlike taxis, you cannot hail rideshare drivers. The other difference is that it is hard to distinguish rideshare vehicles from regular ones because drivers use their private cars. Depending on the ridesharing companies, some provide stickers for passengers to distinguish the car.

Carpooling and Ridesharing Companies

The two rideshare services that are always in demand are carpooling and ridesharing with a private vehicle. Carpooling is when the driver picks up the passengers who do not know each other and divides the ride cost among everyone. The driver has a specific direction where he is going. In comparison, ridesharing drivers work similarly to taxi drivers, where passengers together request a ride to any place they want. Depending on how many people go with a carpooling ride, it can be much cheaper than ridesharing. But, again, it is because the driver needs to go to the same destination as the passenger.

How to Use a Ridesharing Service

All of the rideshare companies have applications where you need to register your account. Next, you will need to provide your phone number and input the credit or debit card number for payments, and some can accept PayPal. Regardless of your operating system, apps are available on every platform. You can upload your photo, edit your home and workplace addresses, and select payment preference on your selected smartphone app.

Once you are ready for your ride, you need to request a car to the destination. Drivers instantly get a notification, and whoever is available will accept your request. You can check the photo, plate number, vehicle model, and color on the ridesharing app. This can help you identify your driver and his vehicle. Some ridesharing apps show which way you go on the map when on the way to your direction. As soon as you reach your destination, the driver will conclude the trip and charge you for the trip from your card.

What Are the Available Ridesharing Services?

Ridesharing companies vary throughout the world, drivers have to comply with different regulations in cities, countries, or states. Out of all, Uber and Lyft are pretty much known everywhere. Apart from them, you can find Taxify, Gett, Curb, and plenty of others in the United States. Only in New York City and San Francisco can you spot up to 4 or 5 rideshare companies. Most of them offer the same services with some differences.

Uber

Ridesharing companies vary from country to country, even though drivers have to comply with different regulations in cities or whole countries. Out of all, Uber and Lyft are pretty much known everywhere. Apart from them, you can find Taxify, Gett, Curb, and plenty of others in the United States. Only in New York City and San Francisco can you spot up to 4 or 5 rideshare companies. Most of them offer the same services with some differences.

The application is user-friendly, and it is easy to navigate. It allows you to make a couple of stops on your way, change your destination while being en route, and rate drivers at the end of the ride. When many people request a ride, Uber usually raises the ride price, called surge pricing. The price depends on a few factors like time of the day, distance, and vehicle types:

  • UberX – It is the option with the lowest prices.
  • Uber Comfort – This option requests a driver that will not disturb you and adjust the temperature as you prefer it; moreover, the legroom will be big enough so you can enjoy your ride to the fullest.
  • Uber Pool – A vehicle that you share with strangers, and as a result, it is the cheapest option on the list.
  • Uber Green – When requesting a Green car, you will ride in an electric environmentally-friendly vehicle.
  • Uber Black – It is the very first option that has been available since Uber started providing its services. It offers a ride with a classic black vehicle suitable for managers and executives.
  • Uber XL – It is a bigger vehicle perfect for a big group of people and can take more luggage as well.
  • Uber WAV – This option offers rides in wheelchair-accessible cars.
  • Uber Black SUV – This option offers premium vehicle types that can take up to 6 people.
  • Uber LUX – Similarly to Black SUV, LUX offers top-notch vehicles for an unforgettable ride around the city.
  • Uber Select – This option offers slightly better cars than UberX for a bit higher price and better-rated drivers.

Uber offers numerous options for you to pick from and decide how you wish to experience your trips. Uber has been introducing new ways to develop the rideshare industry over the past few years and, so far, it has always been successful.

Lyft

Another famous company that excels at ridesharing services since 2012 is Lyft. It is a strong competitor that has been expanding very quickly. It is only available in the United States and Canada, and it has an easy-to-use rideshare app that provides you with essential information. Lyft offers different rides, too:

  • Lyft Rentals – This option allows you to rent a vehicle a drive to your destination yourself.
  • Lyft Shared Rides – Requesting this option, you should be ready to meet other strangers that your Lyft driver can pick up on the way. The ride cost is much lower than regular options.
  • Wait & Save – This option reduces the price of a ride by simply asking a passenger to wait a bit longer. The quality of the car does not change, and the driver receives the standard fee payment.
  • Lyft – It is a standard option where your driver drives to your pick-up point as soon as possible.
  • Priority Pickup – This option is a life-safer for people who are in a rush and need to get somewhere as fast as possible. Priority pickup has a higher price and puts your mind at peace when you get to your destination in time.
  • Lyft Preferred Mode -This option offers riders newer cars, more legroom, and cleanliness.
  • Lyft XL – This type of car can take up to 5 people, and it charged a bit more than standard options.
  • Lyft Lux – It offers premium cars with chich interior and top-rated drivers.

Others

Other ridesharing services have just begun their growth and are not so widely known. Most of them operate the same as Uber and Lyft; however, some could be dedicated only to trips to and from the airports, while hitchhikers mainly use others.

As a passenger, there are plenty of options available worldwide that suit your preferences of comfort, design, and budget. The ridesharing apps allow you to select if you want to ride solo or with someone, and you can explore various affordable options.

How to Become Part of the Ridesharing Program?

The requirements to become a ridesharing driver has changed from simply having a smartphone and a driving license to:

  • Passing a background check
  • Having an accident-free driving history
  • Insuring your car for up to 4 or more people

Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft work hard to create a safe environment for riders; they and other services also have to carry out the state authority’s requirements set out for them.

Ridesharing Pros and Cons for a Driver

Before you hire a car or use your private vehicle, you need to consider the pros and cons and decide if this kind of job is suitable for your lifestyle.

Advantages

Once you have decided which company you would like to work for, there are a number of benefits that generally are present in ridesharing services.

  • Flexibility – It is a great opportunity for students to earn more with rideshare side jobs because they can work anytime they are free. The same applies to those who already have the main income and want to try themself as drivers.
  • Surge pricing – When a lot of people request rides, the prices always go up, and it is a perfect time to earn more than usual.
  • No coins or cash – Since all the transactions are done through the app, you do not have to keep any cash or coins as a driver. Although in some countries a cash option is available, you can choose whether you prefer only a card or both.
  • Low maintenance costs – Depending on how much you work, you will occasionally need to clean your car, and a bit more often to fill it up with petrol.

Disadvantages

Every job comes with disadvantages; however, as a ridesharing driver, those minuses are bearable.

  • Annoying customers – You might pick up customers that either complain or act rude during the trip every once in a while. If you work late at night in a big city, you’re also likely to pick up people who are drunk and loud.
  • Unreachable customer service – Due to the huge amount of people using rideshare services, it can be challenging to reach out to customer service.
  • Taxes – Since you work as a contractor, you are required to fill out your taxes. You could use the services of an accountant, but it is cheaper to learn to do it yourself.
  • Ratings – After every trip, riders can rate the service, and their scores can greatly vary. If your overall rating is too low, your account can be blocked.

Ridesharing Pros and Cons for a Rider

Advantages

  • Safety – Thanks to regulations, drivers have to go through background checks before they can work as drivers.
  • Verifies account – As a rider, you can be sure that your driver has verified their contact details, and in case of a lost item or any report, it will be easy to get in touch with the driver.
  • Available driver’s information – Before your driver comes to the destination, you have available car details on your ridesharing app that you can share with friends and family. Moreover, some applications have an opportunity to share the trip in real-time.
  • Payments –  Depending on the ridesharing app, you decide how you prefer to pay, whether cash or card.

Disadvantages

  • Surge pricing – During rush hours, the prices can go up really high, leaving you with limited options.

Conclusion

Whether you plan to use ridesharing as a passenger or driver, you should choose what options are most profitable for you. The most popular ridesharing companies are credible, and they have become more secure than ever before. This means it is a perfect time to start using one to either enjoy the ride or earn extra money!