The Team at Cab Chat are revamping the Cab Chat Show and have put it on YouTube They aim to be the...
Companies like Uber and Lyft have often referred to their services as “ride-sharing” or in done cases “Taxis”.
But these are not accurate terms.
After much criticism, Associated Press (AP) now agrees in part and has banned the words ride-share for Uber-like services in its widely-used style guide. The better term, AP says, is “ride-hailing”. Of course in London I could think of a better term.
In July, AP was criticised over the trend of calling these and other services “sharing” and called on its Greater Washington readers to come up with a better term.
When a number of people collectively buy something so all can use it, that may be sharing. When a company brokers transactions between people buying goods (in this case, rides) from people who sell these goods, that’s not sharing.
As Charlie Warzel explained in BuzzFeed, “Though Uber has recently introduced a carpooling service, the vast majority of services that Uber and Lyft and others provide mimic a traditional taxi service. You don’t get in an Uber to share a ride with another paying passenger”.
There are already ride systems and services that are much more properly “sharing.” Virginia has long had the practice of “slugging,” where drivers pick up other passengers at designated lots in order to use the carpool lanes. Other people are creating companies that help people actually share rides. In London, this would be known as stage coaching and I believe is not yet legal without a published rout and time table.
Amazingly after the LTDA’s now infamous Bug Bugs case, Richshaws were allowed to continue to operate under the stage coach act as they charge separate fares, even though there is no rout or time table. An apeal although winnable, was never lodged.
Jenny O’Brien is a community manager for Carma, a smartphone app that connects drivers and riders for the purpose of carpooling.
She says, “When I tell a potential user about Carma, as soon as I say ‘app’ and ‘ride sharing’ they say, ‘Oh, like Uber!’ Then I have to explain that Uber is more like a taxi”. But she is in fact as just as wrong. Uber are private hire.
She went on to say “It’s frustrating that the public lumps us together because of the misuse of the term ‘ride sharing.'”
She’s stating that carpool and ride sharing companies are frustrated by being associated with Uber.
Many writers follow the AP Stylebook.
It is fortunate that AP has agreed with the critics to more accurately describe this some of the new technology and services offered, but now they really do need to focus on the difference between Taxis and Private Hire.