It might seem easy for an unsuspecting passenger to book a quick ride over the newly trending shared riding apps. Many drivers and car owners are also jumping into this highly profitable scenario lending renting their cars as Air BnB like taxi services or offering chauffeured taxi services to make quick cash. However, this seeming convenience is not without risks. Why?
Most of these popular ride sharing apps may seem like the hipster equivalent of veganism in driving; but being in early stages of development, with bubbling popularity, unorganized risk management and numerous compliance issues, they are in the uncharted territories with the law. And just like veganism may just be a passing fad! While they seem convenient for the average rider, they can be highly unreliable, unaccountable and ill-equipped to handle emergencies unlike recognized taxis services like Maxi Taxi Perth.
Usually all ride sharing apps have their own selling points and differ in operations slightly, but are mostly run by the same concept. Almost anyone can be a driver, and a vehicle with four wheels and a body that rolls can qualify to be a taxi service. The screening standards for drivers and cars both remain unregulated and minimal than for traditional taxi services in Perth. Passengers may find it handy to book a ride on their phone that shows the drivers’ picture, name and contact, the time of arrival and the route taken by them and the vehicle number and model. But this should not be ample information for passengers to make the right choice.
One can never be sure of the driver’s criminal history, mental state, applicability of insurance coverage, compliance with local laws and car safety features for such quick-solution shared riding apps.
Popular shared driving apps are under no obligation to train their drivers and do away with the minimal standards through a few YouTube videos that get over in a few minutes! Moreover, these so called ‘training videos’ talk more about superficial skills of hospitality suggesting handing out bottled water or snacks to improve ratings! This sidelines the true spirit of taxi services wherein the chauffeurs’ driving skills should offer optimum comfort and a smooth ride experience regardless of the traffic situation.
Also off-shore insurance of shared apps has dubious fine prints that refuse to accept any responsibility for losses to their ‘partners’, which put the passenger safety in question.