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Editorial: For ride-hailing, remember to tap the app

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If you’re in a hurry and looking for a ride, don’t think for a second you can step outside and wave down an Uber driver. We are accustomed to hailing taxis on the street, but Uber and other ride-hailing services don’t work that way.

Uber doesn’t allow its drivers to solicit fares. If someone offers you a ride and says he’s with Uber, move on.

Riders must heed such precautions for the sake of their safety. Just ask two Chicago residents who were robbed a few weeks ago by men posing as Uber drivers. In separate cases, suspects pulled up to someone waiting for an Uber car and robbed the rider of cash, debit cards and personal identification numbers.

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All business with Uber must be conducted through its app. Once a request is processed, the rider receives the driver’s name, photo, car make and model and license plate number. Verify all of these before getting into the car. And do not get in the car if the driver arrives with someone else in the car. Uber drivers are not allowed to have people in the car with them when they pick up riders.

Riders in Chicago also can look for Uber stickers on cars’ windshields. They are required by city ordinance.

Part of the beauty of Uber and other ride-hailing apps is their simplicity. To request a ride, all you do is tap the app. But as with any mode of transportation, a bit of caution should be used.

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