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Free and open source alternative to Uber/Lyft (libretaxi.org)
47 points by JPLeRouzic 49 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 11 comments

I suspect a lot of work has gone into creating this, but there are more than a few challenges that need to be overcome.

1) one of the great benefits of the existing rideshare services is the lack of needing cash. Payments are going digital, but bitcoin isn't there yet so many of us rely on credit/cash cards. This new service does not accept credit card payments and they tout this as a feature. I'm not so sure.

2) If the app is free for drivers and riders, how is the high cost of operations going to be managed? There are servers that need to be paid for, lots of geo-lookups at scale, which isn't free, etc etc.

3) Anyone can drive any car. No quality assurance, no background checks. Is there even a revue system?

4) Negotiable pricing?? I don't know about you, but I don't want to haggle on the price of a ride. When Lyft or Uber say the price is "x", I accept it, or decide to take another form of transportation. Often, it's the latter.

5) Network effects. How are they going to get drivers & riders. That is the biggest question. How will they manage routing, availability, etc. etc.

Having ridden existing rideshares, there is precious little quality assurance a simple voting system could not solve, as it has for uber/lyft.

From their unordered list of items on the technical roadmap they include the following.

- Make it safer for passengers and drivers

- Add drivers/passengers rating

- Make it easier to use and safer for moms/dads and children

- Make it easier to use for people with disabilities

Who knows if they'll do those things. They seem to be aware of some of the challenges. In regards to #2 they are probably planning on relying on donations in the short term.

6) Liability.

What assurances do the riders have that the vehicle they're riding in is mechanically sound? That their driver doesn't have a history of violence? What happens if a rider damages the vehicle?

No other rideshare inspects cars, this is a problem with uber also.

Lyft definitely inspects cars. it's very basic, but they do inspect them. Uber does as well.

Huh. It's a telegram bot. https://github.com/ro31337/libretaxi

I rarely use Uber, but when I do I feel safe. I don't know that I'd feel safe doing it completely anonymously.

But you are no safer than hitchhiking. Its an illusion.

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