No matter what side of the debate you’re on, there’s no denying that ridesharing has thrown the taxi industry into turmoil.

Proponents tout ridesharing as an effective way to reduce congestion and greenhouse gas emission, as well as to save money on gas and car maintenance. Opponents claim that ridesharing apps are nothing more than unregulated cab companies and are undercutting regulated taxi rates and undermining regulations.

Companies providing ridesharing services like Sidecar, Lyft and UberX Rideshare offer applications for mobile devices that enable people to go online and book these services. Consumers use the apps to request rides from private passenger vehicles driven by people who do not have commercial drivers’ licenses. The apps then use GPS technology to let the drivers know the locations of the passengers.

Additionally, using proprietary metrics rideshare apps present passengers with suggested fares based on what other people have paid for similar rides – ridesharing companies claim that all fares are voluntary. The driver and the ridesharing company each get a portion of the fare. The apps also save passengers’ credit card information so they can be identified for future trips.

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