“We can’t advertise in our taxi to make a couple extra dollars. We can’t do a lot of things in our taxis to increase our earnings because of the Parking Authority’s regulation. Meanwhile, they’re not regulating Uber and Uber X and Lyft.” This is a rant by a taxi driver protesting against Uber and Lyft in London. This clearly shows the rising popularity of ridesharing services and the downfall of the traditional Taxi. How it Works? Fast moving technological innovations like the smartphone have made travelling a hassle free process. Gone are the days when one had to wait on the street for a cab or follow a bus route. There are apps for everything. Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing apps have made daily commuting easy, efficient and timely. With just a tap on the phone, one is able to book a driver within their locality, pick one or two passengers heading the same way, split the fare and get going to wherever they are headed to. The ease, convenience, flexibility and security provided by ridesharing services like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar obviously make customers gravitate more towards them than taxis. Despite the numerous lawsuits filed against ridesharing giants, there are no signs of the ridesharing industry slowing down. In fact, the year 2015 was the worst year for the taxi. Subsequent years are expected to follow the same trend. Incentives for Drivers Interestingly, more taxi drivers have begun abandoning the cab for ridesharing options. The reason is solely based on the fact that ridesharing companies allow flexibility and pay more than the taxi service does. Uber has plenty of options for drivers to choose from all at their own convenience. They can choose to drive a car, limo, truck or bus and drive them whenever they want, their only expense being gas and vehicle expenditures. After all, making at least $17-$30 extra per hour while driving a Uber car is a lot more than the few peanuts made by being a professional taxi driver. Additionally, ridesharing has opened an extra side income for people of all professions. Now, you will not find it unusual for a dentist or teacher chauffeuring passengers on his car and making extra dollars all without sacrificing time, e.g. it can be done when commuting to work. Requirements for Becoming an Uber Driver Moreover, the guidelines for joining rideshare services are simple and straightforward. For example, to join Uber Taxi as a driver, one must meet the following requirements: Be at least 21 years of age Pay the application fee (which is just a few dollars) Pass the security test Get fingerprinted It is simple as that. Why it Works Better than a Taxi? We can actually attribute the ever rising popularity of ridesharing to the following factors; Freedom and Flexibility Ridesharing has re-invented the transportation industry. You will not have to wait for a taxi, which will never arrive or take ages to do so, anymore. Neither will you have to rely on the ever unpredictable public transportation means. If you can just hail a ride of your choice with just a few taps on your smartphone and then split the fare with fellow passengers sharing the ride and therefore, cutting down the total fare, why won’t you do it? So basically, the freedom and flexibility that ridesharing has brought about is something that taxis cannot even come close to, hence their rapid decline. Cut Down Costs Splitting the fare with a fellow passenger ensures that only a minimum amount of money is spent on the ride. Plus you get to choose a car and driver of your choice while taxi’s have the metered system, where one has to pay by the meter, and many times it is much more costly and inconvenient. A regular Uber user has got this to say on the pricing of taxi’s compared to ridesharing; “Just competing on price is not an option as the ride sharing companies are already offering very cheap service with better cars (I got rides in Mercedes cars couple of times). Just take the example of the ride from my home to the airport. An Uber ride costs around $25 where as a taxi ride costs around $45. Adding a tip, the taxi ride can cost up to $55, more than double that of an Uber ride.” It’s a Safer Option According to statistical findings, Ridesharing companies have reported fewer drunken driving deaths and lesser incidents of crashes since their inception. This makes it safer and more reliable to use than a taxi. Additionally, the rating system that comes with ridesharing makes its use even much safer. You can simply rate a driver based on your experience or register a complaint against an inept driver. Furthermore, they have got a good customer support system in place where all customer queries are addressed accordingly. Also, drivers undergo rigorous background checks before they are hired to work for any ridesharing company. It’s More Convenient With the GPS installed systems in every ridesharing vehicle, you are ensured of reaching your destination on time without getting lost since your route is already mapped out. Unlike the taxis where in some cases, getting lost during commutes are becoming a nightmarish routine which unnecessarily prolong an otherwise short journey. The Bonus Points Lyft and Uber offer up to $750 as a sign up bonus for drivers and a lesser amount of customer referrals. It’s a system in place that rewards you as you use it. There are different bonuses for different seasons. Bonus points are usually offered during festive seasons like Christmas, Easter and New Year. It would be a dream-come-true scenario if taxis also offered the same bonus points. But unfortunately that is not the case yet; although, a pilot project for demand based cab hailing is underway in NYC. Despite offering generous bonus points to users, the profit margins of these companies do not dwindle in any way, but rather increase at a higher rate. This is why, among many other reasons, the ridesharing industry has reported an ever increasing rate of growth. If 2015 was the year which practically crushed the taxi, the coming years could literally wipe out the taxi industry entirely. Below is an Infographic by rideshareapps on how ridesharing has crushed the taxi in 2015.