Ridesharing came to a halt in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic swept across the world. But as the vaccination slowly begins to roll out, ridesharing is beginning to bounce back. This is great news for a bunch of reasons, which we’ll dive into below.
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Benefits of Ridesharing
Ridesharing offers loads of benefits, some of which aren’t immediately obvious. If you’ve been sitting on the fence about whether to try a ridesharing app, let the benefits below convince you.
Although the pandemic has been rough on everyone, it’s actually been great for the environment. Sharp decreases in road traffic have led to less air pollution even in the most populated cities.
Now normality begins to resume, roads are beginning to fill back up. Worldwide, around 14 percent of greenhouse gas emissions are from transport. Though this figure includes transport like trains, planes and marine transport, cars are a huge contributor.
A really easy way to take cars off the road is through ridesharing. The logic here is simple, instead of four people driving four different cars to work or another destination, those four people take one car. That’s three fewer cars on the road and a quarter of the emissions.
Additionally, many drivers on ridesharing apps have more environmentally friendly cars. Electric and hybrid cars are both popular options for rideshare drivers, mainly due to the fuel economy they offer. But they’re also far better for air quality than their traditional combustion engine counterparts.
Air pollution isn’t just bad news for the planet, it’s bad news for people too. Both people with respiratory conditions and healthy people can be negatively impacted by air pollution.
Especially those living in major cities with low-quality air are at risk for short and long-term health risks. Short-term exposure to air pollution can cause problems like respiratory illness and cardiovascular disease or aggravation. It can also add stress to your lungs and heart as they work harder to supply the body with oxygen.
Long term exposure to polluted air is far more serious. Permanent health effects include accelerated lung aging, which decreases lung function and capacity. It can also cause the development of diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema.
By ridesharing, fewer cars are on the roads which in turn improves air quality for everyone.
Ridesharing splits the costs of not just gas but also parking. The more occupants in your rideshare the more you’ll save. Ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft have also made it easy to split fares, so there’s no more rummaging around for the right change.
It’s also socially economical. By this we mean, because it helps reduce the cars on the roads, those roads are used less. That means fewer taxes need to go towards road maintenance as there is less wear and tear.
Even compared to public transport, ridesharing often works out at around 50 percent cheaper.
Not only is it cheaper than public transport a lot of the time, but it’s also far more convenient. Public transport can consist of awkward schedules, changes, and stops nowhere near your actual destination. Ridesharing allows you to work your transport to suit you, dropping you exactly where you need, when you need, with no changes!
As well as this, you’ll know that rush hour public transport is often packed full of people and there are no seats available. You’ll always have a seat with ridesharing.
Ridesharing makes us more social. Riders encounter people they wouldn’t otherwise interact with and have social interactions they otherwise wouldn’t have had. The idiom ‘a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet’ couldn’t be more true!
It’s not just for passengers though, rideshare drivers share information and increase their social interactions with other drivers. Many drivers are on forums, sharing information on the best places to get rides and other tips. This network of people wouldn’t exist without ridesharing.
You can also learn from your driver. Especially as a tourist or visitor, drivers will have a wealth of knowledge on the best places to go to, and to avoid! It’s information you’d never find in a guidebook.
All this interaction helps us connect with the people around us. It brings together people from different backgrounds who would otherwise never have spoken, allowing them to share their experiences. This in turn breaks down social barriers and opens our minds to other people’s experiences and lifestyles.
Safer for Women
Hoping to hail a taxi at the end of the night was never the best experience, especially for women traveling alone. Ridesharing apps completely revolutionized this for women everywhere.
Women can now pre-book transport to arrive promptly, to when and where suits them. Traveling with other people can also be and feel safer than traveling alone.
Most rideshare apps also let you know your driver’s name and vehicle information in advice, as well as reviews of that driver. Overall, it’s a much safer option than hailing a random taxi.
More Job Opportunities
Last, but by no means least, rideshare apps open up more job opportunities. Especially when the pandemic has ravaged businesses, causing widespread unemployment, the gig economy is vital for some to survive.
Even Before the pandemic, the rideshare gig economy allowed a huge amount of people to earn a little extra. More than three million people in the US drive for Uber, and a further 700,000 for Lyft.
Specifically focusing on women, ridesharing has also opened up new doors to a male-dominated industry. More women than ever are driving for ridesharing apps in the US, allowing more financial freedom and independence.
We hope you’re convinced to give ridesharing a try in 2021. If we all began ridesharing more often, it would make a huge difference to our impact on the planet.
You can find more articles on sustainable and green living on our blog, so be sure to check it out.