Share The Ride Essay

He prefers to work for Lyft because of the corporate culture and the company's community involvement. or 5 a.m., Powell says that he is naturally a morning person."My grandfather told me that a man can get used to anything but hanging," he says of having to reverse his sleeping schedule.

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He falls silent, though, when a passenger gives off a vibe that they want to be left alone.

"Sometimes you can tell someone is just really tired," he says.

Powell's 2016 Ford car already has 140,000 miles on it. As people get in and out of the vehicle for rides, Powell makes it a point to be friendly.

He tends to fill up any quiet time with questions about holiday plans and stories about his own family.

Whipster, which was started by a Florida IT consultant and aggregates bikeshares and public transportation options as well as ride shares, launched officially last February.

The oldest and most established is the Boston-based team behind Ride Guru, which began as a taxi fare finder in 2006, three years before Uber launched.The car is full and Powell picks me back up after dropping off the party of four."One of the biggest challenges," Powell says "is finding a place to pee." He seems to know the location of every open porta potty in Portland.All ride-share cars have to seat at least four passengers.When he stops to pick up a group, I jump out to make more room.The fastest is Juno, as there’s a car just one minute away.Figuring that out on my own would take minutes of toggling back and forth between ride-share apps (and likely drumming up my fare in the meantime).He's been driving now for three years and has provided more than 10,000 rides, including one all the way to Seattle.Most of the time he says his job is "driving in circles around Portland." I ask Powell if he's worried about the coming autonomous vehicle revolution which promises to make his job obsolete. One of the reasons he likes the flexibility of driving is that he is finishing up an MBA. I feel bad because he's had to miss an opportunity for an airport pickup to bring me back to my car.Add to that a list of abandoned attempts, ghost apps, and failed startups that includes: Price Ride, Ride Fair, Ridescout, Urbanhail, and Corral Rides, among others.(Corral Rides switched strategies, relaunching as a carpool app called Hitch that sold to Lyft in 2014.)Several of the startups that publish these apps, including both Bellhop and Ride Guru, attempt to make money by striking deals with the ride-sharing companies to promote their services in exchange for affiliate fees, the same way that hotels pay Kayak or Expedia when a prospective traveler books through the platform.


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