Since we don’t have rideshare services here in BC, us Vancouverites may need a few extra tips on using these apps safely and effectively when travelling.

An amazing feature on both Uber and Lyft is the sharing option- you can send a notification to a friend which lets them track your entire ride, letting them know exactly when you’ll arrive- but also where you are if something goes wrong. On uber hit “share my ETA” and on Lyft click “Send ETA”, then chose your most responsible friend!

Another great feature that is often overlooked, is the option to leave feedback. Whether your review is good or bad- it can really help the next person. If the driver made you feel uncomfortable, leave a note about that! On the other hand, if they went out of their way to make you feel safe- that’s a great thing to note too.

This next tip is especially important for us who are new to ridesharing- be sure to confirm the car and driver. Unlike a taxi, you aren’t getting into the first one that pulls up. Check that the license plate number and drivers name matches the one of your phone, which are clearly listed. A pro tip is to ask who the driver is picking up, instead of offering your name first. This way you know for sure the car is for you, and that it’s safe.

Another difference between rideshare and taxis is that you don’t need to even have your wallet out. The driver should never ask for payment in cash and you aren’t expected to tip, when the ride is over just exit the car and leave a review.

These reviews are important to keeping rideshare safe as well. If a driver falls below a 4.5 rating, they face being fired. This can offer you peace of mind that you will have a top rated driver, and also gives you the power to inform the company of a bad experience. For this reason also be fair with your ratings though- don’t leave a 1 star just because you feel like it.

Finally, you can track your location as you go and ensure that the driver is taking the predetermined route. Either within the app or on your own gps map, you can watch as you go to ensure you’re being taken to your destination.

Rideshare services are super easy and convenient, especially when travelling if you’re limited on the local cash for a taxi. Don’t shy away from them just because we’re unfamiliar- but as with anything- keep safe!

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