It’s a modern twist to an old, sometimes risky, means of transportation. We’re calling it “modern-day hitchhiking.” Only now, drivers are asking to take you places.
Ride-sharing has become a go-to way for people to get around town, but there’s a group of people you won’t find on your Lyft or Uber Apps.
Kenny Holderman posted his first ride-sharing ad to Craigslist about 10 months ago. He said business is going well, “Uber and Lyft were doing $50, on up, to the airport one-way. I figured, that’s robbery. I can charge someone $25 to $30, half that.”
Holderman posts his ads in several different places on the website, and includes links to his personal Facebook page, access to a proof of his insurance, and even job references. He said providing all the information upfront alleviates skepticism.
Where Uber and Lyft require a credit card for payment, drivers posting ads to Craigslist say they can make their own rates.
“I’ve done rides where people where like, ‘I’ll buy you lunch!’” said John Otto. He’s put ads on Craigslist for the last few years.
Otto said he used to live in a small town in Texas, where Lyft and Uber weren’t available.
These rides aren’t affiliated with any ride-sharing companies though, so the risks are real for both parties.
When a driver charges someone for a ride, that driver essentially become a business. Insurance companies Denver7 spoke with said most personal insurance policies don’t cover drivers if they are acting as a business.
On the other hand, if someone chooses to pay for a ride, the passenger won’t be protected under the driver’s policy unless the driver carries commercial insurance.
We spoke with Denver Police Department officials who said there are definitely concerns related to ride-sharing, but they are not aware anecdotally of reported crimes associated with these Craigslist arrangements.
They’ve shared these safety tips:
1. Verify the identity of the driver and their car before you get in
If you are using an app-based service, or if you are connecting with someone online, verify that the driver’s name, vehicle and license plate info matches that of the accepted ride arrangement.
2. Keep in touch with friends or family
Let friends or family know where and when you are being picked up and dropped off, and tell them about the vehicle and driver description.
3. Whenever possible, avoid taking a ride share alone
It's preferable to go in these tips of rides in a group or at least with one other person.
4. Use common sense and trust your gut
If something doesn’t feel or seem right about a ride sharing situation, trust your gut feeling and find alternate transportation.