Why does Uber want to track your location?

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uber locationWe love it when Uber tracks our rides, but our every move? Not so much! With Uber’s recent update, the app now has permissions to track your whereabouts even when you are not using the Uber app. This has upset many users who feel it is not Uber’s business to know where they are traveling to and from at all times.

RideGuru wrote an interesting article on the subject, bringing light to why Uber would want your location information. According to RideGuru, one reason that this update helps to improve the app is by better identifying ETA estimates and the best pick up locations in certain areas. RideGuru also states that another reason Uber wants to track your movements is “that they hope to eliminate how often riders have to cross the street after being dropped off to get to their destination. Uber believes this is a safety hazard and that new location data from their users could help to solve this issue.”

Is Uber crossing the line though? Head over to RideGuru to read the full article and give your opinion on if Uber should be allowed to track their users locations.

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Help Us to Keep Rideshares Transparent!

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With the release of our new site, RideGuru, the TaxiFareFinder/RideGuru team has become passionate about bringing transparency to the ridesharing community. Rideshares, such as Uber and Lyft, have their benefits but they also can be hampered by a lack of transparency.

Take a look at the video below to see how RideGuru is helping to bring insight into the ridesharing industry and let us know your thoughts below!

Do You Tip Your Uber Driver?

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Uber has been making headlines recently for settling a class action lawsuit brought forth by Uber’s very own drivers. The claim was based on unfair wage and labor practices, and Uber ended up paying for it to the tune of $100 million dollars. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, the settlement also demanded that Uber clarify their stance on tipping, or in other words give drivers the go ahead to solicit tips. This is where things get interesting.

For those of you who are familiar with the rideshare giant, you may understand why this is a surprising move by Uber. For years now, Uber has been conditioning their riders – and the general public – to forget about tips. According to Uber, tipping was never part of their business plan and in a recent blog post, the company stated, “When we started Uber six years ago, we thought long and hard about whether to build a tipping option into the app. In the end, we decided against including one because we felt it would be better for riders and drivers to know for sure what they would pay or earn on each trip  —  without the uncertainty of tipping. That’s still the case today. Tipping is not included, nor is it expected or required.”

So on one hand Uber is telling the general public (through their settlement) that they will now allow drivers to solicit tips, yet on the other hand they are still stating that “Tipping is not included, nor is it expected or required.”. Furthermore, Uber wont be introducing a way for passengers to tip via the app, meaning those riders who wish to tip will have to carry good old fashioned cash.

Clearly, Uber’s faux pas stance on tipping is confusing! In order to bring some clarity to the situation, we asked our readers to participate in a poll titled “Do You Tip Your Uber Driver?” and we got an overwhelming number of responses.

So far we have received 138 responses from our readers regarding the question, “Do You Tip Your Uber Driver?” and here is how the results played out.

Preview of your graph

49% of participants stated NO, 33% stated YES, and 18% stated SOMETIMES. Seems like the public is pretty fairly divided on whether or not you are supposed to tip your Uber driver, furthering the point that Uber’s tipping stance is just downright confusing.

This seems, to us, to give Uber’s rival Lyft a pretty distinct advantage, as Lyft has always included an in-app tipping feature, making it clear to riders that they can add a few extra dollars if they wish. This simple show of a confidence on tipping procedure could end up pulling some customers away from the rideshare giant Uber, and garner the underdog Lyft some momentum within the industry. It will certainly be interesting to see!

Uber: How to Download and Use the Uber App

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  1. Download the Uber app from the app store on your smartphone. Uber is available for download on: iPhone (iOS 7 or newer), Android (Jelly Bean or newer), BlackBerry (BB OS 7 only), Windows Phone 8.
  2. Create an account. Once you have downloaded the Uber app, you will be asked to create an account. Enter your name, email address, phone number, and credit or debit card information. Be sure to enable location services when the option appears, as this will allow for more accurate GPS capabilities when requesting a ride. Once you have filled in your account details read Uber’s terms and conditions to make sure that you are OK with Uber’s terms and privacy policy before continuing on with the service.
  3. Click the Sign Up button. Once you have filled in your account details and read over the terms of service, click the sign up button. Your account will be created and you will be sent an email confirming your new Uber account. You’re now ready to start using Uber.
  4. Fill in the details for your first ride. Once you have completed your account creation, you are ready to take your first ride! You will need to set your pickup location; an address will be auto-populated based on your GPS location but double check to make sure that it is accurate. You can input an address manually if it is incorrect. Next, you will need to choose which level of service you want. Uber offers several types of services based on vehicle type, size, and cost. For the full list of Uber services with descriptions please click here.
  5. Request your ride. Once you submit your request, a nearby Uber driver will be notified of your pickup location. A time estimate will be provided and you will be able to watch your Uber car arrive utilizing the driver’s GPS location. All details surrounding your driver and ride will be provided, including: driver photo, contact information, vehicle make, and license plate number. If you need to give your driver any additional details, you can contact your driver at this stage!
  6. Enter your end destination. Input the address of your final destination while you wait for your ride to arrive. This will save time and provide a route ahead of time.
  7. Enjoy your ride. Once you see your Uber ride approaching your pick up location on your Uber app, start looking out for your Uber car. Once you locate your ride, simply hop in the vehicle. The GPS will provide the driver with a route, but you are able to suggest a better way if you wish. Once you arrive at your destination, simply exit the vehicle. The trip cost will be taken out of your debit or credit card automatically. If you wish to tip, you may do so in cash. Once your ride is over your will receive a receipt via email with a breakdown of the ride, including fare and route explanation.
  8. Rate your experience. Once your ride is marked as complete, you will be prompted to rate your Uber drive. The rating is out of 5 stars, keep in mind Uber drivers must maintain a 4.6 rating in order to be eligible to drive for Uber.

 

Extra help articles on Uber:

Please click here to learn about Uber’s Surge Pricing

Please click here to learn how to calculate the price of your Uber ride.

Many Uber, Lyft Drivers Are Underinsured

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The rideshare industry has expanded at a fast pace since its debut in 2012. Last year, Uber executives estimated their drivers were providing 2 million rides a day worldwide. In the U.S., the growth has been so rapid that, when it comes to insurance, the nation’s regulators, insurers and drivers are all struggling to catch up.

A new survey found that many rideshare drivers may not have enough auto insurance coverage to fully protect themselves, and that they also don’t understand the risks involved. This raises implications not only for drivers, but also for the riders who use services like Uber and Lyft every day.

Rideshare insurance is complex and constantly evolving. Companies that provide rideshare services offer insurance protection for drivers during specific periods, but that protection drops considerably at other times. Generally, when drivers are waiting for a call, they are only fully protected if they are covered under certain personal rideshare insurance policies, and that coverage isn’t available in every state or from every insurer.

Personal insurance policies may fall short

Relying on one’s personal insurance policy may not be enough. Some carriers’ personal policies don’t cover vehicles being used to transport passengers for a fee, and some may even cancel a driver’s coverage if he is involved in an accident while driving for a rideshare — particularly if the driver has not informed the insurance company that the car is being used for rideshare driving.

Passengers are mostly covered in case of an accident, but there may be gaps there, too. Both Uber and Lyft offer $1 million in coverage when passengers are in a rideshare car. In serious accidents, where injuries and damage can exceed $1 million, it gets more complicated. Riders can make a claim against the rideshare driver’s personal auto insurance, if available, or file a personal injury lawsuit against the rideshare company, but only in some states and under certain circumstances.

In an effort to examine how many rideshare drivers are paying for additional coverage, NerdWallet worked with SherpaShare, which provides an app that helps 50,000 rideshare drivers track mileage, earnings and expenses. The insurance coverage survey of 1,022 SherpaShare users across the U.S., conducted Jan. 26-Feb. 9, 2016, via the app and company blog, found that the majority of respondents may be underinsured, at least some of the time.

Key takeaways

Many drivers don’t have extra coverage. 77% of respondents said they didn’t have additional rideshare insurance coverage on top of what their company provided, which puts them at risk while they are working, but waiting for a call.

Cost is a concern. Of the drivers who don’t have extra coverage, 32% cited cost as the reason.

Drivers may underestimate their risks. Of those who went without additional coverage, 31% said they’re comfortable with what their rideshare company provides, but 4% stated that they lacked an understanding about the issue.

Laws make a difference. The drivers with additional coverage, 43% of respondents, said they got it to comply with local laws.

Rideshare drivers are looking to add coverage. In the survey, 40% of drivers without additional coverage said they plan to purchase it in the next three months.

Most drivers lack coverage

Rideshare insurance varies depending on whether there’s a passenger in the car or if the driver is waiting for or going to a call. Uber and Lyft provide insurance coverage when passengers are in the car, which is known as Period 3 coverage. When the driver is en route to a call, drivers are covered by Period 2 insurance. But both companies provide only limited coverage, called Period 1, when drivers are logged into their apps and waiting for a fare.

With 77% of drivers in the SherpaShare survey saying that they haven’t purchased additional coverage, there is a large group of drivers who are at risk should they be involved in an accident while waiting for a call.

What rideshare companies provide

Uber and Lyft provide at least $1 million per accident in liability, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage during periods 2 and 3. They also offer limited collision and comprehensive coverage, but only to drivers who already have this personal coverage on their vehicles.

But when drivers are waiting for a fare, in Period 1, their primary coverage is provided by the personal or commercial coverage they’ve purchased. Rideshare company policies only kick in to cover liability or damage not covered by the driver’s own insurance.

The liability limits in Period 1 are $50,000 per person for injuries, capped at $100,000 per accident total, and $25,000 in property damage for each accident. And there is no coverage provided for damage to the rideshare vehicle. Of the SherpaShare survey respondents who didn’t have additional rideshare insurance policies, 31% said they were comfortable with the coverage provided by the rideshare companies.

It could be that these drivers don’t mind taking on the risk, or they may not understand those risks. Although it wasn’t a selection in the multiple choice survey, 4% of those who don’t have additional coverage left comments indicating they didn’t understand their options and/or the issue.

Drivers pick minimal coverage

Twenty-three percent of surveyed drivers had purchased additional insurance coverage. Of the women who responded, 27% opted for an additional policy, while 21% of men did.

Rideshare drivers generally have three insurance options:

Rideshare-friendly policy. Of the drivers with additional coverage, 36% have rideshare-friendly policies that don’t provide additional coverage, but mean the insurer won’t cancel coverage on a rideshare driver.

Period 1 policy. Those with additional insurance, 31%, have a Period 1 policy. The policies, which cover drivers when they aren’t on a call, but are waiting for one, specifically fill the gap left by rideshare company coverage.

Commercial rideshare policy. In the SherpaShare survey, 24% of drivers who have extra coverage have commercial rideshare policies. These policies, which are the most comprehensive available, provide coverage at all times. For periods 2 and 3, this policy provides extra coverage should an accident exceed the rideshare company’s policy limits.

Additional coverage costs more

The survey found that 32% of surveyed drivers said cost was a factor in going without additional coverage.

Not all insurance carriers offer rideshare policies, and those that do may offer them only in certain states. But such policies are increasingly common and affordable. Costs vary by driver, policy, carrier and location, but a rideshare driver could pay an additional $20 a month or less for Period 1 coverage on top of an existing personal policy. Commercial policies are more expensive, but some carriers are offering more affordable commercial coverage for rideshare drivers.

Coverage and laws in flux

The ridesharing industry is relatively new, and insurers and lawmakers are just catching up with products to cover the risk. By the end of 2015, 29 states and Washington, D.C., had enacted laws to close insurance coverage gaps, according to Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.

These laws require action by ridesharing companies, which have had to increase coverage amounts in some areas; and by insurance carriers, which have had to expand or adjust policy offerings. The new laws also require that drivers take out additional insurance or understand the risks involved when declining coverage.

In the survey, 43% of drivers with additional rideshare insurance purchased that coverage to comply with such laws.

California’s 2014 rideshare law, for example, requires drivers to have liability insurance during all three periods, and rideshare companies to provide $1 million in liability coverage during periods 2 and 3.

Other states including Colorado, Georgia, Maryland and Washington as well as Washington, D.C., have similar laws designed to close rideshare coverage gaps. Minnesota requires rideshare companies to provide $1.5 million in coverage during periods 2 and 3. Some cities have additional requirements. For example, New York City requires rideshare drivers to have commercial coverage.

These laws have prompted Uber and Lyft to supply more generous coverage — sometimes location-specific — and have pushed insurance carriers to create new offerings and policies.

Many states are still working on legislation, and it’s possible these laws and new opportunities to buy policies could push more rideshare drivers to seek out extra coverage.

Meanwhile, drivers as well as passengers should understand their rights and risks when using ridesharing services. Uber’s terms of service denies any liability if a passenger is injured and requires binding arbitration if there’s a dispute. The company also recently changed its contract with drivers to require arbitration of disputes. So it’s important to keep in mind that the ridesharing economy is a risk-sharing one as well.

Elizabeth Renter is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: [email protected]. Twitter:@ElizabethRenter.

Infographic by Michael Belen.

2016 Survey Results: How Satisfied Are Uber Drivers Really?

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How satisfied are Uber drivers? This question seems to be floating around the web a lot lately and our team at TaxiFareFinder was curious to find some truthful answers! As it turns out, one of our good friends, Harry Campbell (The Rideshare Guy), was also curious to learn some answers about driver satisfaction and morale and created a survey for his network of drivers. After receiving 453 responses, his team put together a fascinating report depicting Uber drivers and how they really feel. Check out the findings below!

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Every year I send out a survey to all of my drivers here on RSG.  Honestly, I’m not a big fan of filling out surveys myself, but it is a great way to get feedback from my readers and confirm trends that I’ve been seeing in the on-demand economy.

So to everyone who filled out a 2016 survey, thank you!  We sent the survey to 10,234 e-mail subscribers and got 453 responses, which is awesome, and I’ll be sending out some RSG swag to 10 lucky winners.  Scroll down to the bottom to see if you were randomly selected. I’ll also be contacting you by e-mail.

This year’s survey had some really interesting results and I’m also getting better at asking interesting questions.  So if you’re a company or start-up interested in going over the results with me or one of my staff members, please e-mail me.

For everyone else, hope you enjoy!

2016 Survey Results: Getting Started With Driving

How long have you been a driver for?

According to Uber’s own numbers, half of all drivers quit after just one year.  I was surprised to see that only 17.4% of my audience has only been driving for 0-3 months, which tells me that although there are a lot of new drivers out there, they aren’t finding the online resources like my site, rideshare Facebook groups and forums.

This also speaks to the challenges of organizing drivers since there are so many new drivers who really only talk to Uber and don’t know how to get in contact with their fellow workers.

A little quick math: If Uber currently has 400,000 drivers and half are quitting after one year, that means they need to replace about 17,000 drivers each month (200,000 drivers/12 months).  And if they’re growing at a monthly rate of 10.6% (they announced 162,000 drivers on 1/22/15 and 400,000 drivers on 11/3/15 – active drivers are defined in both cases by having taken at least four trips in a single month), that means they need to hire 42,000 new drivers each month.

So in order to replace the drivers that are quitting AND sustain growth, Uber needs to hire about about 59,000 drivers in total every single month.  Wow!

Where did you first hear about driving:delivering?

If you’re wondering where Uber finds all of those new drivers, this chart gives a good glimpse into that.  I’ve talked before about Uber’s main marketing channels and although I’ve always known they pumped a lot of money into their referral program, I was surprised to see that so many people ‘heard from a friend’ about driving for Uber.

Not all of these word of mouth referrals are paid referrals, but it’s impressive to see just how important the network effect is when recruiting on the supply side.  Basically by having such a large passenger base, this also helps recruiting efforts.  This is also why a lot of the smaller to mid tier ‘Uber for X’ companies have such a hard time recruiting new drivers (and they don’t have as much $$ obviously).

If you’re curious about some of the ‘other’ responses you can view those here.  The only major category I missed was Facebook ads, which is basically the same type of paid marketing as Google Ads.

Who’s Driving For Uber And Why?

Which rideshare:delivery company do you PRIMARILY drive for?Which on-demand service do you PREFER to drive for? I’ve commented many times before that most drivers prefer driving for Lyft, but they get more rides and make more money with Uber.  I think these two charts prove that pretty clearly.  Even though an overwhelming majority of drivers are primarily working for Uber and thus making more money with Uber, an equal number of them prefer Lyft to Uber.

Lyft is often mentioned in the same breath as Uber, but outside of a few select cities like SF and Austin (where Lyft claims 40% and 45% market share respectively), they don’t offer much in the way of passenger demand.  Drivers in small to mid tier Lyft markets often wait 30 minutes+ for rides and ETAs can be as high as 20-30 minutes.

But Lyft has done a great job cultivating a special relationship with drivers.  I’m not saying they’re perfect (ahem $1,000 driver bonus snafu), but when their president e-mails drivers after fare cuts to explain why Lyft had to cut fares, that says something.

Lyft has always been on the forefront of driver friendly features, but there just hasn’t been enough demand to make it a viable main option for drivers.  Imagine how many more drivers would prefer Lyft over Uber if they actually made the same amount of money as they did driving for Uber!

Who’s Doing Most Of The Work?

How many hours per week do you work on average?

Uber has obviously been in the news a lot about its controversial tactic of treating drivers as independent contractors instead of employees.  In response to the current lawsuit they’re facing in California, even Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick has stated that Uber is best suited as a way “to fill in the gaps”, implying that employee status would not make sense for a bulk of their drivers.

Their recently released survey confirms that 50% of drivers are driving 10 hours a week or less on average.  Uber is clearly presenting driving as a secondary gig and some (Harris & Kreuger) have even called for a third class of worker since your average Uber driver doesn’t fit into the traditional employee/independent contractor boxes.  But the problem with these assessments is that they don’t take into account who’s actually doing a majority of the work.

Based off the numbers collected in our survey, we calculated that 50% of drivers are working 20 hours a week or less, but they only account for a total of 24% of the actual hours worked out on the road.  This is similar to the phenomenon we see with Airbnb ‘super hosts’ that bring in a majority of income for Airbnb with hotel style listings as opposed to private rooms or individual listings.

If you take the mid-point of hours worked (i.e. 5 hours for 0-10) for drivers in our survey and multiply it by the number of drivers you get a rough approximation of each group’s contribution to the total hours worked.

Hours Per Week # Of Drivers % Of Total
Drivers
% Of All
Hours Worked
0-10 85 19% 4%
11-20 139 31% 20%
21-30 107 24% 26%
31-40 57 13% 19%
40+ 65 14% 31%

You can see pretty clearly that a majority of the work is not being done by the 0-10 or even 10-20 hours per week crowd.

This poses several questions:

  • Which group of drivers (part-timers who make up a larger % of the workforce but do less of the work OR full-timers who make up a smaller % of the workforce but do most of the work) should be given more weight when it comes to policy discussion?
  • Should a third class of worker be created for a group of workers (0-20 hours per week) that only make up 24% of all hours worked on the platform?
  • If 30+hrs/week is considered full-time, that means half of Uber’s drivers could actually be more closely associated with employee designation than the independent contractor designation based off hours worked.

Another analysis performed on Uber’s data from January of 2015 came to a similar conclusion.

Why Do Drivers Drive?

What's the most important thing to you as an on demand worker?

Uber touts the flexibility of driving for Uber all the time and it’s actually one of the points that I’ve always agreed with them on.  I don’t think most people realize just how flexible being a driver is.  I can literally turn the app on right now and get a request within 10 minutes and be making money.

Companies like Active Hours (affiliate link) even allow you to cash out your Uber earnings the same day.  So you could go out and drive a full day whenever you want and have the money in your bank account by that night.  That’s pretty damn flexible!

Satisfaction With Driving

Overall, I am satisfied with my experience driving for UBER.

When Uber announced in December that their drivers were happier than ever, I was pretty skeptical.  It didn’t pass the smell test for two reasons.

  1. Drivers are now making less than ever because of fare cuts, so even if Uber replaced their entire workforce, how could drivers who now make less money be happier?
  2. Uber has actually gotten less flexible over the past year since they now institute policies like guaranteed hourly earnings which require drivers to work certain times and accept certain percentages of fares.  If drivers care so much about flexibility, wouldn’t less flexibility mean less happiness?

Uber’s survey actually found that 81% of polled drivers said they were satisfied with the overall experience of driving for Uber — up from 78% the previous year.  Uber polled an unknown number of drivers (and received 833 responses) from 24 of Uber’s largest markets including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and New York City.

My survey was sent to 10,234 drivers and of the 453 driver responses, only 48.4% of drivers somewhat agreed or strongly agreed (my top markets also included Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and New York City).  So I think my skepticism of Uber’s survey was valid.  I’d be curious to know exactly how Uber picked it’s sample size for this survey and what questions they asked (both of which were withheld from me at least).

 

About Harry Campbell, The RideShare Guy

Hello TFF Readers, my name is Harry Campbell and I run a blog for rideshare drivers called The Rideshare Guy and I also write about the on demand economy for Forbes.  I’ll be sharing articles from time to time on what’s going on in the world of rideshare and what you need to know as a passenger whether you enjoy taxis, rideshare or all of the above!

Top 5 Items Rideshare Drivers Should Have In Their Car

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Driving for ride-share companies like Uber, Lyft or one of the smaller services can be an excellent way to earn income, meet people, provide a needed service and allows you to be an independent boss. For the skilled, knowledgeable driver, there is no better side business. One common belief is that all you need as a ride-share driver is a reliable car and smartphone. However, the best drivers want to make their riders comfortable and plan for those “what if” scenarios. Consider having these five items in your car to make your driving experience as smooth as possible.

• A Cord Collection — Think about how important your smartphone is to you. Your riders likely feel the same way. Providing a way for passengers to charge (common) smartphones is key. An aux cord is another excellent investment. You can listen to music or directions through your phone. This is especially important in areas where there are not many great radio stations available. It is up to you to decide if you want to allow passengers to choose some of the music; just remember, listening to someone else’s music can get quite distracting, so don’t risk anyone’s safety.

Trunk Caddy — When you’re transporting passengers, you will likely be transporting a large amount of objects, too. Don’t allow your riders’ belongings to shift around in the trunk or the back of your SUV with no protection in place. A simple trunk caddy can keep your passengers’ luggage, bags or other belongings organized — and even provide space for your items, too. These come in many different styles and sizes; there is certain to be a design that will fit with your vehicle style — from a cargo net design to a complicated caddy with multiple compartments.

Vomit Bags or Can — This may seem silly, but if you do “bar runs” it’s a must-have! Vomit bags will help protect your vehicle just in case a passenger had a bit too much to drink. Even if you avoid picking up passengers who look like they may be trouble, it’s a good idea to be prepared — sometimes accidents happen when they are least expected.

• Water — Bottled water isn’t a must, but it is certainly a nice touch. Providing cold bottled water (just by using a cooler) is one of the best things you can do for passengers. Plus, you will have water handy to keep yourself hydrated during those long shifts, too.

Your Card — Depending on which service you drive for, this may be something you can order from the company or something you can print yourself. The idea is that you want your best passengers to return again and again! Be sure to keep a card handy — you want to be remembered. Some of the companies also offer referral cards for recruiting new drivers, which can allow you to gain an additional source of income.

If you want to get high ratings and succeed in a market that is becoming crowded in some areas, it is worth investing in these items and perhaps a few others — to help you stand out from other drivers. After all, you know you are an awesome driver, so why not show your passengers you are by providing the little details? One great thing about being a ride-share driver is that purchasing these items may be tax deductible (talk to your accountant for details, of course). With that in mind, these products could become quite affordable, as well as a great investment in your ride-share business.

 

Author Bio: Kimberly Quinones VP of Sales Midwest:

As Vice President of Sales in the Midwest, Kim oversees all aspects of our sales, service, and customer retention programs for Illinois Vehicle Auto Insurance.  Her market stretches from the far north, west and south suburbs of Chicago, to Indianapolis. Illinois Vehicle Auto Insurance does not cover rideshare drivers.

Lyft Partners with Google’s Waze

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If you are an Uber driver or rider than you are most likely aware that the Uber GPS capabilities are frankly, no good. Uber’s in app GPS has long been a point of tension for Uber drivers, causing many drivers to ditch the app’s GPS completely and use their own source of navigation. Surprisingly, Uber has yet to make any big efforts to integrate a better routing application for their drivers.

Lyft, however, saw Uber’s misstep as a way to gain some ground on the rideshare giant and announced on Tuesday that they are joining forces with Google’s Waze to improve their in-app navigation and to help drivers avoid traffic congestion. By integrating Waze, drivers will also be able to improve the efficiency of both rider pick-ups and drop-offs by updating their routes in real time based on traffic, accidents, and other contributing factors.

According to The Verge, “Drivers will be able to switch seamlessly back and forth between Lyft and Waze using a new “Return to Lyft” button. And to help keep their customer ratings high through more efficient trips, Lyft says that Waze, which uses crowdsourcing data to reduce traffic and improve routing, will now be the default navigation tool for all of its drivers.”

Lyft is the first and currently the only rideshare company to use Waze’s technology. If Uber wants to keep their drivers happy they may have no choice but to follow suit!

Did Uber Rides Actually Get Cheaper?

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Uber has been in the news a lot lately for lowering their prices across many U.S. and Canadian cities. Last week our team at TaxiFareFinder did a little bit of research on Uber’s supposed “lower prices” and came to a major conclusion.

While Uber did indeed lower standard mileage prices in over 100 cities, they also raised their minimum fares and recently increased the price of their safe rides fees. This means that in some situations, passengers will actually end up paying more than before Uber lowered their fares! Let’s take a look at some numbers below.

First, Uber decided to raise their Safe Rides Fee this past fall. According to Business Insider, this fee was first introduced in April 2014, as a way for Uber to recoup the costs of running its background checks and providing 24/7 support to its riders. The Safe Rides Fee used to be only $1 regardless of where you hailed an Uber, but now Uber is calculating this fee based on your zip code. Apparently, Uber believes the price of “safety” is different depending on where you live. Is Uber really trying to make some kind of statement about each city’s relative risks and the costs of finding drivers who have no criminal charges and a safe driving record?

Surprisingly (or perhaps not), Uber didn’t just slightly raise Safe Rides Fees, in fact some cities had their Safe Rides Fee more than doubled! Passengers from Inland Empire in California and Northwest Indiana are now paying $2.45 and $2.50 respectively. Many other cities such as, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Ventura, Knoxville, Fort Myers, Naples, Indianapolis, and Jacksonville are also all above the $2.00 mark. Remarkably, Uber users in New York City are still able to hail their Uber car without paying any fee! That’s right the Safe Rides Fee is free in NYC and Halifax, Canada.

After Uber raised Safe Rides Fees, they then decided to increase minimum fares as well. The minimum fare is the least amount a passenger can pay for an Uber ride. In other words, if a passenger takes an Uber around the block, they will still get charged as though they took the car 4 blocks in an effort to reimburse drivers for short trips. While this raise on the minimum fare is great for drivers, it may come as a shock to some passengers who usually use Uber for short rides, especially when passengers will be expecting a lower fare due to Uber’s price cuts. Instead passengers who now take Uber on short routes will actually end up paying more than before Uber lowered their fares, plus, they will be paying a higher Safe Rides Fee as well!

The moral of the story is passengers who are planning on using Uber for short rides, shouldn’t expect their fares to have decreased as it has been projected across the media. In fact, they should expect to pay a little more than before!

Uber Cuts Rates In These 101 Cities (A Full List)

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On Tuesday, we announced that Uber was lowering their fares in over 100 cities in order to drive more business. Uber has not officially published a list of the cities where rates were cut, but our team searched through our rate data to determine which cities made the list. See below for the 101 cities that we found now have lower rates.

 

The Cities
  • Akron, OH
  • Albuquerque, NM
  • Amarillo, TX
  • Asheville, NC
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Augusta, GA
  • Austin, TX
  • Bakersfield, CA
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Boise, ID
  • Burlington, VT
  • Cedar Rapids, IA
  • Central Atlantic Coast, FL
  • Charleston, SC
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Chattanooga, TN
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Cleveland, OH
  • Columbia, SC
  • Connecticut
  • Dallas, TX
  • Dayton, OH
  • Denver, CO
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Detroit, MI
  • Fargo, ND
  • Fayetteville, NC
  • Fort Myers, FL
  • Naples, FL
  • Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Fresno, CA
  • Gainesville, FL
  • Greater Maryland
  • Greenville, SC
  • Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  • Hampton Roads, VA
  • Honolulu, HI
  • Houston, TX
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Inland Empire, CA
  • Kalamazoo, MI
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Killeen, TX
  • Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada
  • Knoxville, TN
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Little Rock, AR
  • London, Ontario
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Maui, HI
  • Memphis, TN
  • Miami, FL
  • Midland, TX
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Modesto, CA
  • Nashville, TN
  • New Jersey
  • New Jersey Shore
  • New Orleans, LA
  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • Omaha, NE
  • Orange County, CA
  • Orlando, FL
  • Ottawa, Canada
  • Palm Springs, CA
  • Pensacola, FL
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Piedmont Triad (Greensboro), NC
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Portland, ME
  • Quad Cities
  • Quebec, Canada
  • Querétaro, Mexico
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Durham, NH
  • Richmond, VA
  • Rockford, IL
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • San Luis Obispo, CA
  • Santa Barbara, CA
  • Santa Fe, NM
  • Sarasota, FL
  • Savannah, GA
  • Hilton Head, SC
  • South Bend, IN
  • Spokane, WA
  • Springfield, IL
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Stillwater, OK
  • Tacoma, WA
  • Tallahassee, FL
  • Tampa, FL
  • Toledo, OH
  • Topeka, Kansas
  • Tulsa, OK
  • Ventura, CA
  • Washington, DC
  • Wichita, KS
  • Wilmington, NC
Did your city make the list? Do you know of another city that lowered it’s Uber rates that is not on this list? Let us know!