Before coming to Nashville to study at Vanderbilt, I had never heard of Uber or ridesharing in general. Since then however, I have taken over 75 rides in Uber and Lyft combined. Given this, I feel like I have enough experience now to comment on ridesharing from the perspective of a rider.
First off, as a university student, it is incredibly convenient to be able to hail a ride right from my phone. As advertised, Uber and Lyft really are cheaper than traditional taxi services and I also enjoy talking to drivers about their careers outside of Uber and Lyft. Serious props to Uber for paving the way with this technology, and Drover is excited to enter the market via a iOS/Android app as well.
I have had so much variety in the types of people and cars that have picked me up with UberX and the standard Uber option. Some buddies of mine and I once got a Nissan Altima that smelled like cigarette smoke and drove like it was on its last leg. On the other hand, I rode in a Lexus LS once with a leather massage seat... it was wonderful. Some Uber drivers have phone chargers, water bottles, and mints at the ready, while others make you feel like your comfort in their vehicle is a last priority.
Personally, I think that this huge gap between quality of ride can be largely explained by two factors. 1) it is surprisingly easy to become an Uber/Lyft driver. 2) Uber/Lyft suggest, but do not require, certain amenities be made available to riders. Drover Rideshare has identified these two potential drawbacks of Uber and Lyft's current operations; we make every effort to fix these issues in the hopes of providing a more consistently positive ridesharing experience with Drover.
Drover's Unique Driver-Selection Process
Drover's unprecedented Drover (driver) interview process ensures that our drivers and their cars are top notch and ready to move people. The first step towards becoming a driver for Drover is submitting to a background test and driver history search. After this, prospective drivers will meet in-person with a senior Drover in the area for a personal vehicle inspection.
Both of the above measures are standard within the ridesharing industry. However, Drover takes it to a whole new level. If the above tests come back positively, the prospective Drover will be able to accept rides. But, in one of the new driver's first rides (completely randomized), the new driver will be unknowingly matched with another senior driver. The senior driver will be a normal, friendly passenger, all the while taking mental notes on the quality of the vehicle and friendliness of the Drover. In this way, we can get an accurate, unbiased look at the new driver's driving habits, personality, and vehicle. Our goal is to ensure that in a real scenario, all of our Drovers meet our expectation of respect and friendliness towards their passengers.
Drover Green Culture Ride Requirements
Part of Drover's Green Culture is specific requirements to ensure the quality of each and every ride. For example, drivers are encouraged to open doors for riders at the beginning of the ride. During the ride, we expect the car to be a fun, friendly, uplifting environment. Additionally, drivers are required to provide 8 oz water bottles for passengers as well as complimentary green mints. We feel these complimentary items will set the mood for a great ride!
Through these measures, Drover hopes to offer a consistent and enjoyable service to our riders that will keep them coming back and using Drover for all of their ridesharing!
Patrizio Murdocca is Chief Web Developer at Drover Rideshare, a student at Vanderbilt University, and President of Interfaced Ministries (www.interfacedministries.org).