Ever since the rise of ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft, taxi services have been on the decline. Taxis have been part of the transportation system since the early 17th century in the form of horse-drawn hackney carriage for hire in Paris and London, and from there it developed into a multi-billion industry worldwide. Now, Uber and Lyft have created a competition for taxi companies with their state of the art capabilities and easier accessibility. Taxi companies are trying to fight back by labeling these ridesharing companies as a hazard to the community stating that Uber and Lyft do not have insurance coverage for their passengers who get into an accident. However, the reality is that Uber and Lyft have more comprehensive insurance coverage for their passengers.
Insurance policy requirements for taxicabs differ from state to state, but in general, the amount of their coverage should be between $250,000 and $500,000. On the other hand, Uber and Lyft both have a $1 million policy per car policy; this is outside of the auto insurance of the driver which can also be used when filing a claim when you get into an accident while riding an Uber or Lyft car. Looking at the amount that these entities have for their passengers, it is clear that ridesharing companies have an advantage.
Aside from insurance coverage, taxi cabs and ridesharing companies differ in a lot of other areas. Both competing services conduct background checks of their prospective drivers. For taxi companies, the background check varies from city to city, with some cities requiring taxi drivers not to have any felony charges five years before application. New York City is probably the strictest when it comes to taxi cab drivers. Aside from having to complete the background check and medical examinations, applicants are required to take a defensive driving course. Ridesharing background check for drivers go back seven years, and their vehicles are also inspected before being allowed to enter the service.
Getting an Uber or Lyft ride is also much more convenient and faster than traditional taxis. There’s no need for you to wait outside to hail an Uber or Lyft car. With just a tap on your smartphone, you can book a ride to your destination while putting on final touches on your outfit or finishing your breakfast. However, because of surges, there may be times when taxi cabs are cheaper in comparison to Uber or Lyft. When there’s high demand on for an Uber or Lyft, prices for booking a ride may go up to twice its regular price for ridesharing services, taxi cabs, on the other hand, do not have surges.
Another advantage that Uber and Lyft provide their customers is the ability to rate your driver. This rating system is helpful for other passengers since it gives them an idea of what their driver is like. The system also motivates drivers to be on their best behavior, especially since Uber has recently announced that they might put a structure in place wherein drivers with higher a rating gets more trips and less competition. With taxi cabs, the only thing you can do when you’re unhappy with the service you’ve received it to tip a little less.
Involved in an accident while riding an Uber, Lyft, or taxi? Contact us at Hogan Injury for expert legal advice.
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