How Do I Benefit from the Ride-sharing economy?

Welcome to Energy in Your Twenties! This series will help college students, recent college grads, and young professionals prepare for their first experiences with an electricity bill. Whether it’s figuring out how to choose an electricity provider, how to curb your roommate’s excessive electricity use, or how to make homemade dishes without cranking up your energy usage, this series will tackle the questions and obstacles people face during the first couple of years of paying their own electricity bill.

In the last few years we’ve seen the emergence of the sharing economy. Whether you’re trying to find a ride, a bed to sleep in, or a power tool to borrow, the sharing economy makes it easier than ever before. So for this month’s Energy in Your Twenties article, we’re taking a look into how the ride-sharing economy is beneficial to you, the economy, and the environment.
What is the ride-sharing industry?

The ride-sharing industry is where users seeking a ride are paired with a private vehicle driven by its owners for a fee through a mobile application. Some of the large companies in the ride-sharing industry include Uber and Lyft, as well as many others.

 How does the ride-sharing industry benefit me?

It’s convenient: The integrated technology of ride-sharing apps make finding a ride as simple as pushing a button, so it’s not hard to see how ordering a ride-sharing car to pick you up is significantly easier than hailing a cab. This increased convenience is especially true in towns and cities where taxis and public transportation systems are either hard to get to, or nonexistent.

It saves money: While ride-sharing usually isn’t cheaper than public transportation, consumers still have the opportunity to be budget savvy when choosing to use a ride-sharing application. By not taking your own car you’ll save money on gas and parking fees, making ride-sharing an attractive option when headed to areas with high parking costs like the airport. Additionally, according to Business Insider, average Uber costs are lower than cab fares, and even cheaper when accounting for the additional savings from not being obligated to tip the driver. Note to savvy readers that this doesn’t account for surge pricing, so if ride-sharing applications have 2X surge or higher it will most likely be smarter to find another route home!

It’s safer: If you plan on going out and enjoying a few adult beverages, the ride-sharing industry will help keep you and others safe on the road. The convenience and ease of user-specified pickup locations offered through the ride-sharing apps will help to make sure you get home safely. Even if you don’t partake in the ride-sharing industry, you’re drive is arguably still safer thanks to the ride-sharing industry. According to an article by The Federalist, typically when a ride-sharing company enters a jurisdiction the rate of DUI arrests and traffic fatalities decreases. Meaning that potential drunk drivers are finding another way home and there are less drunk drivers on the road. This makes the road is safer for everyone.

How does the ride-sharing industry benefit the economy?

Increased local spending: According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, ride-sharing companies have helped increase local spending by making hard-to-reach businesses more accessible. This combined with the convenience and worry-free rides home has helped increase the local spending by $750.

New income opportunities: For many people, the introduction of the ride-sharing economy has helped to increase available revenue streams. Within the ride-sharing industry, drivers are independent contractors that set their own work hours. The flexibility this provides, as well as the low barrier to entry to become a driver, has allowed many people to utilize this opportunity as a source of income. Unlike taxi’s, which require licenses that are difficult to obtain, ride-sharing drivers typically only need a car, regular driver’s license, background check, and car insurance. This is a quick process that usually has potential drivers driving within weeks.

What is the environmental impact of ride-sharing?

As consumer behavior within the ride-sharing industry hasn’t completely settled yet, the resulting impact on the environment is hard to state. Will the ride-sharing industry lead to a more efficient use of cars, with less cars on the road? Or will the convenience of the ride-sharing industry induce people to forgo walking or other public transportation options? Both outcomes are possible and will have vastly different effects on the environment.

At First Choice Power we’re all about finding ways to make life more convenient and budget-friendly. Whether it’s grabbing a ride home from a great night out or grabbing a great rate on prepaid electricity, First Choice Power wants you to know the options and benefits available to you.

Sources:

These Animated Charts Tell You Everything About Uber Prices In 21 Cities

Sara Silverstein – http://www.businessinsider.com/uber-vs-taxi-pricing-by-city-2014-10

How Ridesharing Platforms Help the Economy

https://cei.org/blog/how-ridesharing-platforms-help-economy

Study: Ride-Sharing Reduces Traffic Deaths And DUI Arrests

Technology – http://thefederalist.com/2016/06/16/study-ride-sharing-reduces-traffic-deaths-and-dui-arrests/

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