Why parents put faith in Uber, Lyft

The smartphone has spawned a world in which we depend on convenience and put trust in technology, which could explain why parents are so willing to let their kids use apps that hire strangers to pick them up.

Parents like Beth Miller say ride-sharing services save time and can be a lifeline.

“I have three kids, 11, 14 and 16, and I use Uber when I am in a bind. If I have to get one kid somewhere and another at the same time, I use it,” Miller said. “It is controlled by me. I can see where they are going. I don’t let them call an Uber without me.”

Miller uses UberTaxi for her older kids instead of ordering a regular Uber because the drivers are vetted, licensed and every car contains a camera. She said she wouldn’t let her 11-year-old ride in an Uber without an adult.

Lyft and Curb also include a vetting and licensing process as well as automatic payment for driver and passenger safety.

For first-time riders, Uber includes safety tips on its website and explains the process that drivers go through to be employed by the company.

“I think one of the advantages that ride sharing has over taxis is that ride sharing makes the experience safer for the driver and rider,” said Cato Institute policy analyst Matthew Feeney, who has researched the safety of ride-sharing services such as Uber and wrote a report that evaluated them for riders and drivers.

“With Uber, payment is automatic, and I think you would have to want to be caught committing a crime in an Uber car because anyone investigating the scene will have a plethora of information rather than an investigation taking place in a cab,” Feeney said.

Read more of this Chicago Tribune article by Erin Ben-Moche clicking here.