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Ride-Sharing Revolution Receives Lukewarm Welcome In Ohio

Though taxis are not as common in Ohio as in Washington, D.C. or Chicago – Ohio big cities have not necessarily been more welcoming to taxi’s new competitors: ride-sharing companies.

Instead of having to call a taxi dispatcher, or hail a taxi cab on a street corner, companies like Uber and Lyft offer travelers the option of requesting a pick up with their smart phone. An app connects drivers and customers in real time; in any city the company is located.

Not only do these Transportation Network Companies (TNC) offer the convenience of a quick, simple pick up, they also permit easy payment. The customer’s credit card is automatically charged, and a receipt emailed. Customer satisfaction ratings place major accountability on drivers to provide good service.

However, Ohio’s welcome to these companies has been somewhat lukewarm.

Though no Ohio cities have issued “cease and desists” to newcomers Uber and Lyft, they recently scored unimpressively on R Street Institute’s Ridescore Report Card.

R Street Institute graded 50 large cities on their friendliness to a variety of for-hire vehicle services, includes taxis, limos and TNCs (i.e. Uber & Lyft). “Ride scores” were graded on a curve, and devoted 40 percent of score to TNC friendliness, 40 percent to taxi friendliness, and 20 percent to limo friendliness.

columbus ridescore image

Breakdown of Columbus’ Score (Screenshot: Ridescore.org)

Two Ohio cities graded on the scorecard, Cleveland and Columbus received a C+ and a C overall. Cleveland, however scored better on its TNC regulations, receiving a B- over Columbus’ C.

Both cities also regulate the number of taxi medallions, creating a limited number of taxis permitted in the city.

Not included in the survey, but recently jumping in to the conversation about TNC regulations is the city of Cincinnati. In October, Cincinnati City Council passed a code of regulations for TNCs.

Uber sent an email encouraging customers to thank City Council members who voted for the new ordinance, as it establishes them as legal operators in the community. Other cities have tried to effectively ban and outlaw Uber and Lyft from their markets.

Feature photo: Screenshot of Ridescore.org website.

Stephanie Kreuz

Stephanie is the editor of Watchdog Wire - Ohio. She is a graduate of Hillsdale College. You can contact her at Ohio@WatchdogWire.com for story ideas and ways to get involved with citizen journalism in the state of Ohio.

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