Ride hailing services are services that use online-enabled platforms to connect between passengers and local drivers using their personal vehicles. In most cases they are a comfortable method for door-to-door transport. Usually they are cheaper than using licensed taxicabs. In some countries the ride hailing services are regulated in the same way as regular taxicabs. Examples of ride hailing services include Uber and Lyft.
If you speak the local language, a conversation with the driver can in many instances provide you with inside information of the area which might not be written in guidebooks.
Tips for riding a ride hailing service
- If you are taking the ride hailing service by yourself, it is recommended to always sit in the backseat of the vehicle.
- Be aware of traffic conditions. During rush hour and special events, ride hailing services might be a worse choice than urban rail.
- It is worth considering that when the ride is done both the drivers and the passengers use the app to rate each other. unlike the traditional taxicab services, where the drivers have no imminent interest in being nice to their passengers, most of the ride hailing service drivers tend to be as nice as they can to their customers so that at the end of the rides the customers will give them a good rating. On the other hand, the rating that the driver will give you will be included in the overall rating that the ride hailing service app assigns to you. A very low overall rating assigned to you by the app might very well influence the decision of other ride hailing service drivers to refuse giving you a ride, or in extreme cases might lead to the ride hailing service company banning you from using their services.
- If you are staying in a place with good mass transit (urban rail or buses) using it might often work out to be not only cheaper but faster as well.
- Many city-centers are entirely walkable and if you aren't mobility impaired a two or three kilometer stroll is entirely doable. Also walking is a great way to get to know a place and you can simply enter any interesting shops, restaurants or museum you might pass without the driver having to look for (often scarce) inner-city parking space.
- In more and more places, cycling is the best way to go short to medium distances and several cities around the world have implemented bike-sharing programs that are a great alternative for visitors as well as locals. Bikes are available for rent in many more places.
- You may ask whether your hotel offers pick up and drop off service to and from the airport. This is sometimes free to encourage you to stay at their hotel and more often than not cheaper than a taxi.
- If you are staying in a place for a longer time or plan to go on a road-trip anyway consider renting a car, with or without a driver.