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Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Interesting taxi data from NYC cabs: Sharing a Ride millions of times

According to a Reddit post, 173 million taxi cab rides have been shared in 2013 alone. This data is interesting because SideCar integrated a "Shared Rides" option where riders are paired together with those requesting to travel in the same route. Lyft just launched Lyft Line and Uber is testing out UberPool. Shared rides are gaining steam to make ridesharing service more interesting, more exhilarating.

We don't know exactly how this "Shared Rides" feature works. We have no clue how SideCar is claiming that drivers are making 40% more money after the launch of this sharing a ride service. Wouldn't the first passenger spend more money because the driver keeps having to re-route to pick up another willing rider? Or does the last rider accumulate a greater share of this ride?

For example, we have a route from Marina District of San Francisco to the Financial District. We must coordinate three pickups that all go in the same direction. These must be riders willing to socialize with their fellow passengers. What happens with antisocial, in a hurry, and rude passengers? Will these passengers make this shared ride experience better? Is their fair share of the ride going to cost them less than if they rode alone. A solo ride will reach a destination much faster than a shared ride. No rider can be running late to keep this shared ride in motion without any conflict.

What if a Lyft driver picks up three rude passengers and makes a mistake? Can all these passengers somehow rate this drive a "1" star and get them deactivated? Even when we think of this Lyft Line and Shared Rides alternative, how in the world does this work for people in a hurry? Ratings mean the world to Lyft. They will deactivate drivers falling in the lower 5% of their driving pool.

Another concern is that riders must have time available to wait. They have to leave early for this ride. If any shared ride is worth the time, it would be those leaving the city of San Francisco to Facebook, Google, and Yahoo. Forget weaving-in and weaving-out of busy neighborhoods trying to find the next request. We would like to see an animation of Shared Rides in motion to see if this makes sense.

The only way we see drivers making money is the mere fact that their cars are always occupied for this time - no downtime. Passengers save money. Drivers make money keeping people in their vehicles. Many antisocial and rude people live in San Francisco. This is an unbiased opinion. It is uncomfortable for drivers to transport a couple who is fighting, such as two Lesbian riders in Oakland having a fight about their partner hitting on another girl or a couple who are obviously struggling to communicate during a 20 minute ride. Drivers deal with too many personalities, so how can Shared Rides improve this experience?

NYC taxis have shown that 173 million rides have been shared in 2013. It's awesome to think that many people have actually shared a ride in NYC. With a population of 8 million people, we see the reasoning behind sharing rides to save money and stimulating social interaction. Who knows if the next shared ride will be your soulmate?

We want to see a shared ride in action to determine if this works for both drivers and riders. Can a driver who is driving 4 people in one direction make more money than if they went out there and completed 4 trips in an hour? Surge pricing with UberX is awesome. There are fares that can cost $60+ for 4 miles, and then another costing $45 near the drop-off point. Two fares add up to $104 and only take an hour. Two different riders going in different directions and are cool people. How about driving 4 rude passengers in one direction and be rushed to reach 4 different destinations?

How does this Shared Rides feature work? It seems more efficient during the commuting hours rather than at any other time. 173 million NYC taxi rides were shared last year. It is possible that taxi drivers didn't have to socialize with as many passengers. Ridesharing services stimulate social interaction, but Shared Rides take it to another level of bunching together 2-4 different personalities into one ride. Lets see how this works to increase a driver's earnings and maintain their overall ratings.