The Difference Between Ride-Hailing and Ride-Sharing

person holding a phone with ridesharing app

With the introduction of companies like Uber and Lyft, the dynamics of transportation have changed forever. These ride or cab services have also expanded the terminology people use to describe them, which leads to a little confusion.

You’ve probably heard of these services referred to as ride-sharing, but have you heard the term ride-hailing? People often get the two confused since they sound so similar. However, both terms have completely different meanings.


Hailing a ride means the same thing as hiring a personal driver. In most cases, a rider would either hail a taxi from the side of the road or use a ride service like Uber. The driver then takes the rider to their destination without any stops in-between.

Ride-hailing can include stops if the rider wishes. It isn’t uncommon for a taxi driver to wait outside and keep the meter running while their rider stops at a location, for instance. Uber and Lyft recently updated their features to allow for multiple stops as well.


The true definition of ride-sharing is simply sharing a ride with other passengers. Carpooling is the most common example. With multiple passengers, each rider can bring the cost of a trip down by splitting the bill. It’s also an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint.

Both a taxi and services like Uber can be used for ride-sharing. All it takes is more than one passenger, like when two people share a taxi simply because they’re going to the same place. Most ride-share services, which Uber and Lyft advertise themselves as, focus on taking multiple passengers to their destination as fast as possible so their drivers can maximize their wages.

What’s the Difference?

The primary difference is the number of passengers, but ride-hailing deviates slightly more than that. When hailing, the purpose of the ride is maximum convenience for the rider. Ordering a limo, for instance, would be the top level of convenience in ride-hailing.

The route is often the fastest since there is only one passenger, too. Ride-sharing may take a longer route to accommodate multiple passengers who all have different destinations. For most people, however, sharing offers the same convenience as hailing unless they prefer more privacy.

Different Meanings, Same Danger

For the most part, using hailing or sharing services is a safe and smart way to travel. There are, unfortunately, times when these vehicles find themselves in accidents. In more severe wrecks, riders often end up with injuries.

It’s vital that these passengers hire an attorney that handles rideshare accidents. There’s more to navigating the law when a company like Uber, Lyft, or a taxi service is involved, making the need for a skilled attorney versed in sharing and hailing accidents a necessity.

Whether it was your driver’s fault or not, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. The process may be more in-depth, but you are still a victim in the eyes of the law. Never let someone else get away with negligence.