As the anticipated last bell of the school day rings, students crowd around different corners of the school, waiting to leave. Recently, more cars with a minimalistic black and white “U” sticker or a vibrant pink Lyft logo have been swerving around campus, picking up students.
The number of high school students behind the wheel has been on a decline since the end of the 20th century.
The beginning of transportation services, like Uber and Lyft, have only furthered this generational divide in driving. These services are more convenient and affordable and could be a better alternative to either buses, trains or even a driver’s license.
For parents who cannot pick their kids up from school, they can use these transportation services to ensure that their kids can go back home without either having to rely on other people or leaving work early to pick them up.
Some families use Uber or Lyft while traveling.
“On vacations, it made driving around a lot easier because we don’t have to rent a car and it’s a lot less expensive than if you were to go to a car rental place,” said freshman Veronica Yang.
Using these transportation services in other countries can also be helpful.
“It’s easier to use than a taxi in other countries or coming from the airport just because it already has a reputation,” said senior Hannah Lampson.
However, these conveniences comes issues.
“There can be some issues … like a liability for accidents, as well as drivers themselves,” said alumnus Christian Carlson.
“Who are they exactly? Do they have a strange background?” Carlson said, “things like that do come up and often are parodied or brought up in the media.”
Three years after Uber was launched, Lyft was founded, focusing on a better customer service program, which seems to be a big factor in the gap between Uber and Lyft.
“I’ve used both Uber and Lyft, and I did prefer Lyft just because I felt like the drivers were a lot nicer,” Yang said. “I used Lyft in Las Vegas and they were really nice. They would ask you questions, tell jokes and it was really fun.”
As transportation services remain convenient and customer-friendly, they may decentivize teens from getting their driver’s licenses. Still, some students prefer independence of driving.
Lampson said, “I really value independence and being able to do things and get yourself places.”
However, this generation is the first to have the luxury of choosing whether to download an app or invest in a license.