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Are ride-hailing apps a benefit to society? Show more Show less
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Ride-hailing apps such as Uber or Lyft have made it convenient for passengers to connect with local drivers through their smartphones. However, there are controversies surrounding the practice of ride-hailing apps. Do ride-hailing apps benefit society?

Yes, ride-hailing apps are a benefit to society Show more Show less

Ride-hailing apps connect passengers with drivers quickly, safely, and efficiently. Passengers are provided with their driver's ID and car information before their car arrives. Passengers can also share their real-time route and driver details with friends or family which adds more security.
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Ride-hailing apps save time and are safer than licensed taxis

Ride-hailing apps use cashless payments and quickly connect passengers with drivers in their immediate area. Driver ID, vehicle information, and journey details are recorded in the app and shared in real-time so passengers can feel safe and secure throughout their journey.

The Argument

Ride-hailing apps allow users to get picked up by drivers in their radius within minutes of typing in their location. This eliminates time spent attempting to hail a taxi on the street, queueing at taxi ranks, or long waiting times from calling a car service. Apps like Uber provide their users with the car's license plate number, car make and model, the driver's ID, and a photo of the driver collecting them. This means passengers know who is picking them up in advance, and Uber has a record of it. Passengers can also share the above information, their location, and ETA with friends and family so that someone always knows where they are and who they are with.[1] Ride-hailing apps like Uber are cashless. They require their user to pay for their trip via credit card details saved to the app.[2] This means passengers agree to a set price when they book their ride, which can be challenged if they feel they have been overcharged after the ride is complete. Electronic transactions are also safer for the driver as there is no cash in the car for other people to steal. Additionally, passengers can't leave the vehicle without paying their fare.

Counter arguments

There is speculation that Uber might not have as many cars available in your location as the app tells you. Uber is accused of planting fake cars on their maps to encourage users to book a nearby ride when in actuality, there isn't any. And you may have to wait a while for one to arrive at your location.[3] Uber also hikes its prices up by introducing a surcharge when faced with excessive demand meaning users may have to wait longer for a ride. Additionally, surcharges are costly, and it is not entirely clear how Uber calculates their surge price multiplier.[4] Additionally, ride-hailing apps cannot guarantee safety for their passengers. In 2018, 3,000 Uber passengers in the United States reported sexual assaults.[5] Lyft has also had many sexual assault lawsuits filed against them, with female passengers claiming the company did not keep them safe.[6]

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/110614/taxi-industry-pros-cons-uber-and-other-ehail-apps.asp
  2. https://medium.com/@dave_sloan/the-uber-effect-and-a-cashless-society-901364dc443a
  3. https://www.vice.com/en/article/mgbz5a/ubers-phantom-cabs
  4. https://www.govtech.com/applications/Ubers-Surge-Pricing-4-Reasons-Why-Everyone-Hates-It.html
  5. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/dec/05/uber-sexual-assault-report-safety-lyft
  6. https://apnews.com/article/4634719e61021bf6b9995075c39c36e6
This page was last edited on Friday, 30 Oct 2020 at 19:13 UTC