While attempting to find a suitable alternative to renting a car on our most recent family vacation we looked into Uber, a popular ridesharing option. It turns out that renting a car that comfortably seats two adults, three teenagers and luggage for a week long vacation is quite expensive. Our family no longer fits nicely in a Ford Focus. The concierge at the hotel suggested that we use Uber since it is much less expensive than a taxi and “everybody does it.”
If you haven’t heard of Uber or ridesharing, it is a network that arranges shared rides on short notice. This network is promoted to better use the empty seats in a car while the passengers share a destination with the driver. An app on your smartphone makes it simple to request a ride from wherever you are and connect you with the appropriate driver and pick up location. Uber and other ridesharing companies are billed as a competitive alternative to taking a taxi or public transportation.
Unfortunately, these companies have been criticized for inadequate regulation of insurance, licensing and training. Most of the drivers likely have a Personal Auto Policy, which excludes liability “arising out of the ownership or operation of a vehicle while it is being used as a public or livery conveyance,” and provides no coverage for the passengers.
New laws are being passed as city governments, state regulators and the general public gain comfort with ridesharing. Please keep this information in mind whether you are the driver or the passenger and call us if you would like clarification on the risks involved with ridesharing.
After learning a bit more about the risks involved with Uber, we opted for an airport shuttle to our hotel and lots of walking!
Milton, Jerry M. (2015). Ridesharing and Ridesourcing. Primary Agent.