Smart Ridesharing Regulations Promote Reliability

This is part three in our series of posts on smart ridesharing regulations in Edmonton. Today, we turn our attention to policies that ensure reliability. We believe cities and their residents should enjoy transportation alternatives that are reliable at all times of day and in all city neighbourhoods.

Learning from our experiences in over 300 cities across the world, we’ve found that supporting reliability enhances urban mobility for all while helping boost job creation for ridesharing driver partners.

Flexible driver supply best meets consumer demand

Artificially restricting driver supply in a market hurts consumers.

For example, when there is peak demand such as New Year’s Eve or when bars close, a flexible supply base ensures there are enough driver partners available to meet the needs of riders. When consumers are provided a safe, affordable, and reliable option, it leads to positive outcomes such as less drinking and driving.  

In addition, as ridesharing driver partners come from varied neighbourhoods, they are more inclined to accept ride requests that originate in their part of town. This means companies like Uber can better connect riders and drivers in areas that have been underserved by traditional vehicle-for-hire services.

Flexible pricing helps ensure reliable rides

A ride should always be available when needed. With flexible pricing, fares occasionally fluctuate in response to the number of drivers on the road and riders looking for a lift. Dynamic pricing is similar to the practices in other industries, including electricity production and online realtors. Simply put, flexible pricing is the mechanism that encourages more drivers to get on the road, allowing for more trips to take place and the public to be better served.

In Edmonton, it is no secret that getting a ride home at the end of the night has traditionally been difficult. Companies like Uber address this challenge by financially motivating more drivers to come online during peak demand periods. Flexible pricing also enables ridesharing services to lower prices and improve efficiency in the transportation systemdecreasing passenger cost and ETAs while increasing driver earnings.

Pricing should be transparent

Pricing should always be transparent to riders and ridesharing driver-partners. When pricing shifts due to an increase in demand, riders should be alerted and asked to confirm acknowledgement of the pricing before requesting a trip. On the Uber platform, riders are also given the option to wait until prices return to normal levels.

Historically, price regulation may have been necessary to ensure rates did not increase too much due to supply controls or a lack of consumer information. The advent of smartphones and the Internet allow consumers to easily compare prices across transportation service providers with full transparency before ever taking a trip.

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Thanks for your ongoing interest in our updates on smart regulations. Next week, in our last post in this series, we will look at accessibility and how ridesharing can help support improved urban mobility for those often most in need of these services.

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