DoorDash, Airbnb, Bird, Uber, Lyft, and Grubhub are just a few of the largest constituents of the greater on-demand economy, also known as the gig economy. One way to describe the gig economy is as a collection of companies that are able to provide their services – they almost exclusively offer services to customers – to people all across the United States, and the world at large, in many cases, within no more than just a few minutes.
Uber and Lyft are two of the largest competitors in the on-demand economy, which came about as a direct result of the proliferation of smartphones across the developed world, a trend which caught on first in the United States. Through free mobile apps readily available on the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store, these service providers are able to link independent contractors who are willing to work immediately and who are located near customers when they open up companies’ apps to assess the prospects of doing business with them. The model of gig economy competitors really is that simple!
Lyft and Uber, particularly, have made traveling over relatively short distances, particularly in urban areas, far easier than before their coming about. Once upon a time, people interested in hailing cabs – unless they were located in the heart of New York City, where yellow cabs are a dime a dozen – were forced to search for phone numbers to cab companies, provide their locations, and wait longer than they currently do for drivers.
Further, prospective customers used to find it difficult to browse the offerings of all nearby operating cab companies, essentially making it impossible to quickly compare service providers and compare them against one another.
Taking these factors into mind, it’s a no-brainer that Uber and Lyft have made traveling easier.
However, some local governments and businesses have taken issue with the likes of Uber and Lyft, as the massive reserve of drivers willing to go to work for these on-demand economy competitors have clogged up roadways around high-priority areas like Los Angeles International Airport, a high-congestion area.
To prevent this congestion from forming, annoying travelers across the board, drivers for both Lyft and Uber have been formally banned from picking up customers anywhere in or around LAX’s campus. Now, passengers can only be picked up by these two companies’ drivers at a parking lot far, far away from LAX.
It’s so far away, luckily for people who don’t like Uber or Lyft, that taking a shuttle to the area is generally considered the only reasonable mode of travel to take Uber- or Lyft-provided rides to desired destinations.