Safety a non-issue in ride-hailing service debate – The Register-Guard

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I’m a 30-year-previous native skilled who attended the Nov. 27 Eugene City Council assembly the place a dozen-plus advocates confirmed as much as help rideshare. The council’s one and solely hesitation about adopting rideshare: rider security.

This concern was repeated even after a consultant from Lyft pointed to a 51 % lower in drunken-driving accidents in cities following rideshare adoption. And it endured whilst a younger lady who works in the hospitality business advised her story about feeling safer in a car that’s a part of a nationwide rideshare service in comparison with native cab choices, and the way she hears customer complaints every day about transportation points.

The council’s stubbornness clearly isn’t about security — it’s about politics. One councilor expressed a want to deliver rideshare service to Eugene as quickly as potential, however added that “if something goes wrong, or there is an incident … City Council will be held liable.”

True, a rideshare “incident” doesn’t look good politically. An incident can also be virtually inevitable, as a result of people are a flawed species. Lyft, Uber, and any native cab firm in the historical past of transportation for rent have all had an “incident.” But why is belief for native cab corporations simply granted, whereas rideshare corporations should work endlessly to earn this belief from the council? If solely these rideshare apps allowed for some type of score system that allowed riders to guage drivers — that might utterly clear up the belief problem.

Oh, wait — they do have that. It’s one thing native cabbies don’t have however sorely want.

Arguments have been made about lack of stringency in background checks for sure corporations, questionable hiring practices or remedy of drivers and staff (one thing Uber is publicly battling), or the problem to cab corporations and individuals who depend on driving a taxi for revenue.

Well, we stay in a capitalist society, and the highest advantage of a free market is selection. I, personally, sit up for selecting Lyft. I’ve had good experiences with the corporate, belief its board of administrators, and have heard fantastic tales about Lyft giving again to the communities it serves. The drivers I’ve spoken to have expressed pleasure working for them. I ought to have the ability to select this feature — however at present can’t.

Added competitors will undoubtedly enhance the choices of the present corporations. Monopolies haven’t any incentive to enhance the standard of their service. Rideshare adoption would end result in larger-high quality transportation for everybody.

Eugene has the good thing about being one of many final “forward-thinking” cities in the nation to undertake rideshare. That means there are many case research we will pull from. These corporations desperately need to be in Eugene and have stated they’re very happy to work with metropolis officers to create and undertake strict insurance policies and requirements that work for everybody.

I feel it’s time to offer them a probability, catch as much as the remainder of the nation and work alongside these corporations to create protected, environment friendly and reasonably priced transportation choices for the good thing about all — particularly younger individuals and college college students, intoxicated people, and enterprise vacationers and vacationers — all with the additional advantage of decreasing parking congestion downtown.

People need to belief authorities. I’ve been a authorities insider for many of my grownup life and assume each authorities and regulation are essential to take care of order in trendy society. But what cause do we have now to consider that Eugene’s authorities has our greatest pursuits in thoughts when it doesn’t accommodate the wants and wishes of the individuals? Why does the identical group that permits a pot store each 15 ft not permit a service that helps individuals transfer concerning the metropolis in a protected, reasonably priced method? I’m dumbfounded by what we select to manage and what we select to disregard.

Beyond economics, ignoring a potential 51 % discount in drunken driving accidents is irresponsible. In 2015, 10,265 individuals died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in the United States. If you assume the variety of rideshare fatalities and assaults come anyplace close to that determine, you’re delusional. From a security perspective, the selection is overwhelmingly clear. If council members need to proceed to delay this determination, “safety” isn’t the guise I might advise them to depend on going ahead.

To create progress and constructive change in Eugene on any difficulty, we have to be civically lively. Please contact your council consultant and inform them you need rideshare. City Council members should use logic, keep away from bureaucratic procrastination, and act in economically smart methods in making a determination the individuals who elected them overwhelmingly help: Bring rideshare again to Eugene.

When my grandma comes to go to, I’m embarrassed to elucidate that my city nonetheless hasn’t adopted rideshare.

Craig Wiroll of Eugene is a freelance author and know-how worker.

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