5 Questions Answered about Ridesharing Services in Jamaica

5 Questions Answered about Ridesharing Services in Jamaica

With the proliferation of conversations about ridesharing service providers in Jamaica, local and visiting consumers may want to review just how these mobile app-fueled companies operate. Below are five basic questions about ridesharing in Jamaica and their answers.

1. Is Ridesharing Services Offered In Every Parish?

No. While there are several ridesharing services in Jamaica, most concentrate their operations in large urban areas like Kingston, St. Andrew, Montego Bay, Portmore, and St. Catherine. The most popular services operating in Jamaica include Uber, InDrive, and 876 On The Go.

5 Questions Answered about Ridesharing Services in Jamaica

2. Is Ridesharing Legal In Jamaica?

As of 2021, Jamaica’s Transport Authority reported an ongoing legislative review to determine whether the nation’s laws can be amended to facilitate the operations of ridesharing firms on the island. In spite of the agency’s position that the rideshare company Uber cannot lawfully operate the way it originally proposed, the rules may eventually be changed to accommodate the activity. Issues raised at the time of Uber’s entry into the Jamaica market in 2021 included insurance coverage for passengers and whether Uber drivers are offering public transportation and therefore must comply with licensing requirements. Until a final determination has been made, the Transport Authority will approach Uber and other ridesharing companies as it does other public transport operators. Uber drivers who operate locally need to meet specific requirements imposed by their insurers, according to the Insurance Association of Jamaica.


3. Is The Service Affordable?

Consumers of rideshare services in Jamaica frequently cite the affordability of the ride and the convenience it offers as reasons to use a rideshare service. However, ridesharing services impose a number of fees that should be considered when making the decision to use them.

InDrive Fare Breakdown

With InDrive, users enter a destination and offer a fare through the company’s app. A driver can then request a different fare or accept the user’s first offer. Both rider and driver details are provided via the app as well. InDrive makes money by charging a certain percentage of commission on each transaction. This often translates into a lower-cost ride for consumers compared to other services. InDrive believes its fare-negotiation feature is key to its success, as riders can offer amounts for a specific distance, and drivers have the option to accept, reject, or renegotiate the fee as desired.

Uber Jamaica Fare Breakdown

An examination of Uber’s pricing model is instructive. With Uber, there is no flat fee per ride. Instead, prices for rides depend on many factors. All Uber rides include a base fee, which is the price guaranteed for the driver. There are also fees for long pickups, which are based on the cost to drivers of arriving at a pickup destination; this varies according to the distance and the time it takes for a driver to arrive. There is also a booking fee charged to ensure the rider will be there when the driver arrives. There are also fees for canceling a ride. A minimum fare is similar to a base fee but applies to the actual ride.

One of the most critical factors in determining the cost of an Uber ride is the per-minute fee, which is imposed for the actual time it takes to travel a given distance. This changes with time of day and location. For example, a ride of ten miles may take 30 minutes when traffic is bad. There is a per-mile fee as well, which ensures drivers receive adequate pay for longer distances. While Uber does not include tipping in its fare calculations, giving tips to the driver is strongly suggested as drivers do not receive the full amount charged for a ride, but only a percentage.

Ride costs are associated with factors like high demand in periods like rush hour. Uber always raises its rates during rush hour. Distance is another factor as charges are imposed by the mile and by the minute. The type of car used for the ride can also raise costs, with Uber’s UberX economy car being the least expensive, and luxury cars and electric vehicles costing the most.

To lower costs for a ride on Uber, UberX, sign up for the Uber One membership plan to get a five-percent reduction in ride costs, use the Uber Rewards program which awards points that members can redeem for certain rewards, take advantage of promotional programs and coupons, and carpool with others to share the same Uber.

Here are the basic fees charged for an UbeX ride in Jamaica in 2023 quoted in US dollars:

Minimum fare: $8.00

Base fare: $2.55

Per Km: $1.75

Per minute: $0.35


VIDEO: Customer Reviews Uber Service in Jamaica 

4. Is Ridesharing Service Safe In Jamaica?

All the ridesharing operators make an effort to ensure the safety of both their riders and drivers. Safety features and policies address both the condition of the vehicle and the factors affecting the actual physical safety of the people involved with the ride.

876 On The Go, the first rideshare company in Jamaica approved by the Ministry of Transportation, uses the latest technology to help consumers book their rides and make payments by eliminating the need for anyone to have cash onboard. Such a system offers more security for passengers and drivers. All trips are also confirmed electronically with photos of assigned drivers, vehicle license plate information, and the telephone contact details of each driver. Drivers are required to obtain Jamaica’s Public Passenger Vehicle (PPV) license. Additionally, both drivers and passengers can view each other’s ratings and number of completed rides so they can check before the ride to find out about the other user and feel safer. At the start of a ride, passengers and drivers are made aware of the “Help during the ride” button that features emergency options like calling the police or sharing the route with another person to ensure safety.

Uber requires a driver’s vehicle to meet specific minimum requirements: it must be a four-door vehicle with doors that open independently, it must not be older than ten years, must be in good condition with no cosmetic damage or commercial branding, and it must pass a vehicle inspection. Drivers must be at least 21 years of age and legally allowed to drive in Jamaica. They must provide valid documentation of their permission to drive in the country, proof of residency, a profile photo, and complete on online screening that will be reviewed. The Uber app applies strong background checks and uses the RideCheck mechanism to detect and report unexpected or out-of-the-ordinary stops. Uber’s leases are covered by Guardian Insurance, a top insurance firm in Jamaica. Also, the company said all leases are covered by Guardian Insurance, one of Jamaica’s leading insurance companies.

WATCH: How Much I Made As An Uber Driver In Jamaica

5. How Are Drivers Selected?

Drivers in Jamaica must obtain a PPV license to operate. Requirements are similar for all ridesharing services. For example, driver applicants for Uber must be over age 21, and must meet minimum requirements to be considered for employment. These include having a valid license to drive in Jamaica, having an eligible four-door vehicle, providing proof of residency along with proof of vehicle insurance and registration, and providing a formal profile photo. They must also consent to a background check after completing an online application. Everyone who drives for Uber is screened before making their first trip, and the screenings are repeated at least once a year.

Photo – Deposit Photos, Official Facebook Page For 876OnTheGo

About the author

Stephanie Korney