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I used Lyft for the first time last week, and realized I don't know the proper etiquette, if there is any.

With a taxi, it's common that the driver comes around, opens the trunk, takes your luggage, then opens the back, passenger-side door to let you in, then takes the wheel and drives away. Often the front seat of a taxi is only used when multiple passengers are traveling together, and won't all fit in the back seat.

What is proper etiquette for Uber, Lyft and similar rideshare services? The driver (so far in my experience) doesn't typically hop out and help with luggage, or open a door for me to hop into.

Is it rude for me to hop into the front seat? Should I ask him to open the trunk for my luggage, or just toss it into the back seat next to me?

  • 3
    With a taxi, it's common that the driver comes around, opens the trunk - Trunk yes but where did you see a taxi/cab driver open the door for you? – Karlson Jul 20 '15 at 15:02
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    @Karlson: All over Mexico, usually when departing from an airport or bus station. – Flimzy Jul 20 '15 at 15:20
  • The main difference I've noticed between Lyft and Uber is Lyft tends to treat the ride more as a "community" transaction between equals, whereas Uber is more of a customer-provider relationship (think buying on Craigslist vs eBay). I've always sat in the front seat in a Lyft (after asking), but I've never seen anyone sit in the front seat of an Uber. – Jay Jul 20 '15 at 18:20
  • @Karlson In Hong Kong the taxi doors open by themselves. – Derek 朕會功夫 Jul 21 '15 at 0:00
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    Uber is a taxi as far as I can see. There's nothing "sharing" about it. – CMaster Jul 21 '15 at 0:37
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Here is an interesting article on USA Today Tech mentioning a few pointers for correct Uber etiquette:

  • Plan to open the door yourself, although most of my drivers have been quick on their feet to do that for me.

  • Most riders sit in the back right seat, on a diagonal from the driver, which facilitates talking – or just giving directions. If you want to ride shotgun, ask before hopping into the front seat.

  • Most drivers will put your luggage in the trunk. But be considerate. When I was in Washington a few months ago, my driver turned out to be a petite woman of a certain age. My bag: ginormous. I did the heavy lifting myself (although she offered to).

  • Don't make a mess in the car. No feet on the seat, no trash left behind when you get out. No smoking either. We all know that, right?

  • Give your driver a good rating when deserved. 

All in all I take Uber as a friendly and relaxed cab service. Hence I don't expect the door or the trunk to be open for me (of course this is the complete opposite of UberBlack services which are nothing short of luxury car hires). The safe way to go about it for me is to ask the driver when in doubt.

Regarding luggage I wouldn't toss it on the back seat next to you since it might dirty the seats. The boot/trunk is definitely the way to go, unless instructed otherwise by the driver.

  • 6
    Kind of invalidates the rating system if only 5 out of 5 is considered a positive review. – cdkMoose Jul 20 '15 at 16:41
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    @cdkMoose You've just described one of the worst biases which can be found in most rating systems, polls and questionaires. Consider that for example on ebay 99.7% of feedback is considered to be a lot less than 99.8%. We, as humans, tend to focus on the slightest negative point rather than on the positives, when reading reviews and ratings. – JoErNanO Jul 20 '15 at 16:46
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    True, but now it has been "corporatized"? If UBER actually penalizes it's drivers for less than 5/5, that seems pointless. I hear the same from my local car dealership, if I can't give them a 5/5, they get hurt. Maybe I'm just being a GOM(Grumpy Old Man) but it's hard to reward superior performance, when everyone is rated as superior, deservedly or not. – cdkMoose Jul 20 '15 at 16:50
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    @cdkMoose: If you disagree with the ratings system, i.e. you cannot interpret the ratings in the same way that the people who read them interpret them, then I suppose the only option is to not provide feedback at all. At least, in cases that aren't remarkably good or bad. I do agree though, that if anything less than 5 is "inadequate" then there's really not much point having 4 levels of "bad" in the ratings system and only one of "acceptable or better". Just have a vote up or down. Where have I seem that sort of system before? ;-) – Steve Jessop Jul 20 '15 at 17:43
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    I can disagree with the system, yet still interpret it the way that the people who read them interpret it. It was intended more as social commentary that (at least in the US) the recent "everybody is a winner(gets a trophy and a ribbon)" philosophy of raising our children has now made it to the corporate world. The side effect being 4 out of 5 is bad. – cdkMoose Jul 20 '15 at 18:04
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In Australia the etiquette is slightly different from the above mentioned. Uber operates very similar to Taxis.

You are expected to approach the Taxi/Uber and open the door for yourself, then you'll lean over if you have luggage and ask the driver if they will pop the boot. Then you'll go back and put your luggage in the boot and close it yourself. At this point you will hop in the seat next to the driver if you are alone or sit in the back if there are two of you. A brief exchange of 'how are ya' and 'this weather aye' will generally take place as you either settle into a quiet ride or the driver is feeling talkative. Upon arrival you will exchange thanks and remove your luggage and be on your way.

2

There is no set rules for the Uber/Lyft/Gett, etc driver to do any of these things.

The driver normally would open the trunk for you but getting the door for you may be unlikely. The thing of it is you have the ability to rate the driver for Uber and Lyft and leave comments on their performance. The only thing that you have to worry about is that they can rate you as well, so be reasonable at your expectations and demands.

I've taken Uber multiple times in Florida and sometimes drivers do request that you get into the front seat and have no problems with you sitting there so it's up to the individual driver.

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