As urban dwellers, many New Eastsiders use ride sharing apps Uber and Lyft to get around. Technology has equipped us with the ability to connect with our own personal drivers at the touch of a button. Here we highlight the do’s and don’ts of ridesharing.
1. Be polite.
You’re not a foreign diplomat; you’re just trying to get to Dunkin Donuts.
Your Uber or Lyft driver isn’t your chauffer, and he or she certainly isn’t your servant. Many people have never had a driver, so when robbed of the commercial feel of the yellow taxi cab and sitting in a plush SUV, they tend to let their inner Daddy Warbucks fly.
It’s proper etiquette to treat your Uber or Lyft driver as you would an acquaintance or colleague giving you a lift. Don’t bark orders such as “Left here. Slow down. Right at the light.” A gentler, friendlier tone is appropriate.
2. It’s not weird to say “thank you.”
It’s actually much weirder not to. For some reason, people tend to forget to thank their Uber or Lyft drivers because they were paying them to perform the service. This is poor etiquette, and wars have started over lesser indiscretions.
Although you are paying for your Uber or Lyft driver to get you to your destination, that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a kind and genuine “thank you.” They opened up their Ford Explorer to you and allowed you to sit in the back seat and hum along to Journey without judging you. Your friends don’t even do that – well, not without judging!
3. Don’t open food or beverages in their car. This isn’t a Cubs game.
Although it’s right as rain to tuck into a soda and hotdog at a Cubs game, you shouldn’t be eating or drinking in your Uber or Lyft driver’s car. Even if they say it’s OK (and you shouldn’t be asking), a core part of etiquette is thinking about those who will get into the car after you.
While we’re on this tangent, though, please refrain from doing anything you’d do at a Cubs game in your Uber or Lyft.
4. Help them help you.
One of the cardinal rules of Uber and Lyft etiquette is to put the push pin where you truly are. This isn’t the time to get creative or indicate where you spiritually, metaphorically or ironically are. Push the pin or type in the address to inform your driver exactly where you’ll be. Then – and this part is critical – be at that place.
Mischaela Advani is an etiquette expert and founder of Cygnet & Spade — an etiquette, image, and branding consultancy. As a child, she was fascinated by the work of Emily Post and the proper names of flatware, cutlery, and glassware. She has been taught by etiquette and protocol experts formerly employed by the Household of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in American, British, and International etiquette. Mischaela resides in New Eastside with her husband and their English Bulldog.