(BPT) - The rideshare industry has exploded in popularity over the past several years, with companies devoted to making transportation safe, reliable and enjoyable. At the swipe of a finger and tap of a button, you can hail a car through your smartphone. Within minutes, you are picked up at your desired location and whisked off to your final destination, whether it’s the grocery store, movie theater or the hottest restaurant in town.
Here are five reasons why millions of Americans are requesting a ride every day:
1. Owning and maintaining a car is expensive. At more than $9,000 per year, per household, a car is the second most expensive purchase Americans make, yet the average car in the U.S. gets only 4 percent utilization per day. The rideshare industry was born from the idea that by pairing drivers and passengers headed in the same general direction, not only is traffic significantly reduced, but car ownership ultimately becomes optional when you know you have a ride you can rely on.
2. It's a safe way to get around.While pairing drivers and passengers who don’t know each other might seem unorthodox, thanks to stringent background checks, car safety checks and real-time ride tracking, hopping in an on-demand ride has become commonplace for people across the country. In fact, Lyft, the fastest growing rideshare service, currently covers 55 percent of the U.S. population, meaning 177 million people are able to request a safe, reliable ride every day. By the end of 2017, that number will increase to 231 million, or 72 percent of the country.
3. Ridesharing promotes community and economic growth.Not only is it an efficient way to get from point A to point B, ridesharing connects both people and communities. In 2016 alone, more than 162.5 million Lyft rides were taken. This opens the door for people who wouldn't normally cross paths to share a car together. Drivers get to drop off passengers in neighborhoods they might not regularly venture to, and business owners serve customers that previously didn't have easy access to their location. Ridesharing is a powerful driver of economic growth, encouraging local spending and pumping money back into the enrichment of neighborhoods.
4. As a driver, ridesharing provides an excellent source of income. Be it primary or supplementary, driving provides flexibility and allows people to own their schedules, clocking in and out when they want, where they want. From coast to coast, teachers, retirees, aspiring musicians and everyone in between is using ridesharing as a source of income. Lyft is the only platform that allows passengers to tip, with more than $150 million dollars going directly into the pockets of their drivers.
5. On-demand transportation is proven to reduce drunk driving. According to a recent study, 88 percent of passengers say they are more likely to avoid driving while impaired because of Lyft, and 53 percent of passengers use the platform to safely get friends and family home who are intoxicated. One tap of a button ultimately leads to saving lives by reducing the number of intoxicated drivers on the road.
Whether you’re a passenger or driver, ridesharing seeks to get you where you want to go, be it a final destination or a financial goal. Local communities deserve friendly, safe transportation they can rely on, and the rideshare industry is close to making that a reality for all people.