April 4, 2020
Recently, Uber has decided to trial a new way for drivers to interact with their customers in Australia. Uber Pet allows for rides specifically designed for those carrying animals in Sydney or Brisbane, making another big leap for the rideshare company. Since it’s just a trial, it remains to be seen whether it will be rolled out on a national basis, but here are some compelling reasons why Uber Pet should be allowed across Australia.
1. Drivers May Already Be Required to Take Animals
Due to the laws surrounding service animals, many drivers may already have to interact with animals. Although service animals aren’t overwhelmingly common in Australia as they may be in some other countries, many of the people who use ridesharing services may have some level of disability.
Since drivers might frequently interact with animals anyway, it just makes sense for them to pick up non-service animals for an extra fee.
2. Drivers Can Make More
Whether a driver is working for Uber as a side-hustle or doing it full-time, there’s a lot to be said for anything which makes a driver more money. Especially since the majority of pets are well-behaved and have responsible owners.
When these animals aren’t well behaved, a cleaning fee still stands that will let a driver recover any extra time cleaning or damage done to their vehicle easily. It’s to be decided on a case-by-case basis, so it covers most eventualities.
What this boils down to is even more autonomy for the independent contractors driving for Uber. It also prevents drivers from showing up and realizing someone has an animal that can’t be accommodated in their vehicle.
The feature allows customers to travel with their companions, for an additional $6-7 fee, depending on the market.
3. Most Owners Are Responsible
The chances of problems occurring regularly are extremely low. The majority of pet owners are responsible, after all, and Uber allows for drivers to exercise their discretion. The majority of owners are going to be transporting cats and dogs and they’ll be leashed, harnessed and contained in a carrier.
If the owner is intent on bringing a feistier animal, they’re also likely to bring along a car carrier or crate for their animal. Those who don’t will learn to quickly… the cleaning fees are on a case-by-case basis and will usually cost more than the trip itself. The system is self-correcting in this regard.
4. Drivers Love Pets Too
Let’s face it: the majority of people love cats, dogs, and even other pets. Drivers are no different and what better way to make someone’s day than to bring along a great pet while they’re making money?
For animal lovers who happen to be making money with ridesharing services, it’s a clear win-win situation.
Those who aren’t fond of animals are free to opt-out of the Uber Pets program. So there’s no risk of hitching a ride with someone who dislikes animals for the rider either.
5. It’s More Convenient
Under the current Uber system, carrying a pet is entirely up to the driver’s discretion. That can put the pet owner in a tight spot and wastes the driver’s time. Many drivers still welcome pets aboard but some people are allergic… or just don’t want to deal with the risk of mess that a pet brings along.
Since it’s open to discretion, people have been turned away in tight spots. Whether it’s meeting a schedule or trying to get a ride to the vet, it’s more convenient for everyone for Uber to have a policy for those who don’t mind picking up pets for a bit more money.
6. It Brings More Business
For those who aren’t in urgent need of a ride… does it make more sense to call a friend you know will take you and your animal or to hope that the Uber driver won’t mind the extra furred passenger?
Uber is a business like any other. More rides will mean more revenue for the company in the end. That’s the biggest reason the company has considered it, and they’re attempting to do it before other ridesharing services offer the same.
It’s a great idea, business-wise, especially since they’re allowing drivers to make their own plans.
A Win for Everyone!
Uber Pet is looking to be a win for everyone involved. Drivers, whether they choose to take pets or not, will benefit. Riders will benefit. And most importantly, our furry friends will benefit since now we can take them wherever we’re headed. If you’re in an area where it’s available, why not show your support?