How ride-sharing works


WATCH: Ride-sharing will be coming soon to B.C. But how does it work, and how will it affect consumers?

Ride-sharing will soon be coming to B.C.

It’s a move welcomed by many who have used services such as Uber and Lyft elsewhere.

“I liked it a lot, actually. I found that I had really good drivers. It was fast, it was easy, you knew when your driver was coming,” said Danielle McQueen.

“It was very convenient because it’s just in my phone,” said Kiki Cheng. “I just press a simple button and then everything is done.”

Experts say it is similar to Airbnb, which is already widely used in B.C.

Passengers can access ride-sharing services by downloading their corresponding app. Everything, from booking to payment, is done through the app.

Unlike taxis, ride-sharing drivers are not employees — instead, they are independent contractors using their own vehicles.

Also unlike taxis, ride-sharing companies do not have fixed prices. Instead, prices can increase during times of high demand. So-called “surge-pricing” has been criticized by some as unfair.

Dr. Saul Klein, Dean of the Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria, says surge pricing might benefit consumers by encouraging more drivers to take passengers.

“It’s called the sharing economy,” Klein said. “The idea that people don’t have to be full-time taxi drivers. They can work part-time. [It] essentially allow[s] them to share their vehicle when they feel willing to share it.”




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