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Thursday, July 10, 2014

London Tube Strike and how Uber responded: Rideshared

WhatMobile.net covered the London Tube stirke in April 2014. This transit strike left millions of commuters stranded, ultimately causing extreme congestion in an already insanely busy city. How did Uber respond to this Tube strike?

According to WhatMobile.net, Uber stepped in to offer 50% off a ride. However, the catch is that this must rideshared - two clients would split the overall trip bill in half. Rideshared is the act of sharing a ride with another person, which you've probably done while riding in a cab with friends and stranger, or leaving the airport to go into downtown. It depends on how such rides are matched, because this trip arrangement requires additional steps and it is safe to say that some people are not as patient. 

Once a client requests a ride, a minicab will drive to their pickup location. At this point, the client agrees to have this rideshared with another willing rider to split the trip cost. The two parties used a special promo code that worked for 20 rides during this Tube strike. 

Rideshared is useful to match clients who need a ride to the same location. In ridesharing via UberX, we see the value of accepting rides on-demand without having any requests matched and/or rejected after the fact. It may be beneficial to have a rideshared if a person needs to travel from San Francisco to San Jose and this driver is headed in that direction. 

If a client requests a ride, the driver doesn't know their final destination. However, clients have inputted drop-off locations so their drivers can press "navigate" on the actual approved iPhone instead of on another GPS device or personal phone. Thank you clients for performing this extra step to display the destination on the Uber app. The route is based on the directions this app provides, rather than a driver choosing a specific route. 

What we enjoy about UberX is that we can choose the best route we feel is best for our clients. Lyft focuses too much on their driver's wasting time trying to figure out which route their passengers prefer. On UberX, the client will tell you to take a specific street or route, and then the rest is up to this driver. That is really cool. 

At Lyft, a passenger may rate a driver low for taking a route that is blocked and/or is moving slow in result of construction. They may already be running late, but blame for arriving late to this destination is shifted to the driver. Delaying a ride to retrieve another passenger may create additional conflict. It seems that most passengers are in a hurry and need to reach a location by a certain time. Passengers usually request a ride later, which this time is cutting it way too close. If no cars are available in this area, or it takes a drivers additional time to reach the pickup location, this scenario would make passengers extra later or a no-show to work. 

Rideshared is a unique way to split the cost of a ride. Moreover, rideshared can work if another client agrees to split a bill and wants future credit for this trip. When they don't need a ride at that particular moment, the ride credit can be deferred to a later time.  

The mention of rideshared in this London-based news article about the Tube Strike was interesting. SideCar is testing their rideshared option on routes where a few riders are heading in the same direction. As a ride app user, this would be beneficial to see how this all works. These riders would need to have extra time available to make this trip. How about antisocial riders that would rather ride alone. If a rider shared a ride, they would be expected to interact with the new rider. It creates a social atmosphere that may help drivers just to focus on the trip than on holding a conversation to maintain friendliness. 

We hope London resolved their transit problem. San Francisco has been involved in numerous transit strike. These strikes allowed ride app companies to prove their worth. In customizing rides, riders can run multiple errands without having to worry about the time it takes to accomplish these tasks. No employee or person can run errands on a bus. It would take them hours to finish. However, an UberX driver can drive a client to multiple locations and then back to the original pickup spot in an hour. That is called ridesharing service at its best. 

Have you rideshared yet? We can view one client requesting a car as rideshared. Basically, this client is sharing a ride with another person. Please share your comments below. 


Happy Ridesharing!