By now you have heard about Uber and Lyft services that allow you to get a taxi-type ride with an individual by using your smart phone to order a ride. You can also participate by offering a ride to others and making a few bucks yourself.
If you are a driver for Uber or Lyft you never touch or carry money with you; money changes hands through credit card payments authorized by way of your phone.
On Sunday, I used the Uber app on my phone and saw that there were four individuals offering rides in the area with only a 10-minute wait. I thought Uber was only a big city thing.
But it actually makes sense for the suburban areas such as Chesterfield because there is no public transportation. You can order up an Uber ride from your home or anywhere if you do not have transportation due to age, disability or economics. A ride to the grocery store, pharmacy, courthouse, downtown or to just pick up the kids. There are only a few cabs in Chesterfield and as Uber advertises, the service is less expensive compared to a taxi.
Uber is being sued and protested by cabbies in cities around the world. Why? Because it is less expensive and drivers do not need a chauffeur or taxi license. Take money from someone’s pocket and you have a problem on your hands.
While Uber may be a problem in the big city, it is just what is needed in suburban areas. The Shepherd’s Center has for many years offered rides for seniors to locations such as doctor’s appointments, drug and grocery stores.
Uber and Lyft may go away in big cities due to unhappy taxi drivers, but services such as these are badly needed in the burbs until our government leaders can get a stomach for public transportation.