Is this fair? Payment for ride share.
Wroxie · 16/04/2021 10:19
My daughter attends a university in small town/rural area in the US. She lives about two miles from the furthest edge of campus in an old farm house with housemates. She has a car but usually walks because parking on campus is extortionate/impossible. If the weather is bad or she just doesn't feel like walking she can call about an hour ahead to book a ride-share van that charges a flat fee of $4 per stop for one or two people (I think the pricing structure is to accommodate elderly people with carers, who are the other group who use the service aside from students).
Anyway, if she's around, one housemate in particular literally always hops on the van when my daughter calls it, but never splits the cost. If my daughter directly says 'hey, housemate, it's going to be raining today, do you want to split the van?' the housemate will say 'no it's fine I'll walk' but will then hop right on the van when it arrives because 'you called it anyway might as well not let it go to waste".
Is this completely cheeky and worth an argument over, or is it OK because the housemate is using something (the 'free' space on the van) that she might not have paid for for herself but that would otherwise go to waste? I can see both sides to be fair, which is strange for me I'm usually very black-and-white about these things!
I know some of you will be desperate to tell me this is low-stakes and petty and none of my business. I know it's petty, it is my business because my daughter talked to me about it, and I KNOW this is low-stakes but it's also a sort of interesting in a thought-exercise way and I thought it might make for interesting discussion. So if you're going to tell me off anyway please crack on but you're just wasting your breath. My daughter has already made a decision about how to deal with it - now that it's not negative 10 degrees and snow most days, she has obtained a bike.
DaphneHastings · 16/04/2021 11:54
I can see both sides here. Its cheeky and rude to always allow your daughter to foot the bill. However this is a "Bonus" seat that your daughter cannot possibly use. Its not like a "buy one get one free" where your daughter could give the other seat away to someone of her choosing, or use it herself later on. Its intangible. However Im afraid the rudeness of it would annoy me and I would do as your daughter has done and get a bike. Its not nice to feel used.
TheThingsWeAdmitOnMN · 16/04/2021 12:03
I can see both sides.
I'm surprised it's not charged PP. Doesn't it stop another person getting on at the second stop?
However as the bus company doesn't seem to care, I'd just ignore her rudeness because I'd book it if I wanted it & it's not costing me anything for her to jump on too & if I hadn't wanted it enough to pay for it for myself, she'd have just walked.
It's a bit like giving a neighbour a lift if you're going into town anyway.
As they're both students, it would be nice if the other one did something nice for your DD from time to time, if she can't afford to share the cost.
I can see my niece being in the position of the other girl. She wouldn't spend money on a bus if she could walk, but if offered a lift would accept it. HOWEVER she'd kill you with kindness in other ways (such as cooking you a meal or doing your jobs about the flat etc.
KoalaOok · 16/04/2021 12:18
Yes I'd do this. She needs to be called out on the behaviour. If she is really desperately struggling financially then yes as a favour but really your daughter should be offering it.
pigsDOfly · 16/04/2021 12:20
This sort of thing can really rankle.
When my children were in primary school I was asked by one of their teachers who lived near by if I'd would give him a lift to the school, which was 4.5 miles away.
Turned out he meant every day there and back for over a year.
He never offered to pay anything towards petrol because I image, he'd decided that that was my responsibility as I was going there anyway, and he never thought to buy me a box of chocolates or some similar as a thank you.
I asked him once why he didn't buy a car, his reply: 'because I can always get lifts'.
Some people are just takers. Sounds like your daughter's housemate is one of those people.
If she does use the ride-share van she should be sure not to mention it to the housemate.
VettiyaIruken · 16/04/2021 12:23
It's not about the money. It's about the attitude.
Your daughter needs to tell her housemate she's taking the piss and either pays half or makes her own way. Even if you miss the point completely and just see the money, $2 may not seem a lot but it's not $2. It's $2 times however many lifts. How many in a school year? 10? 20?
Times however many years they have been/have left as housemates.
It's not ok.
Wroxie · 16/04/2021 13:57
@TheThingsWeAdmitOnMN yeah the pricing structure is weird but to be clear it's not like a bus with set stops - the van is basically like a cheap flat-rate taxi. I think it was originally just for disabled/elderly people in a town that doesn't have any other public transport options but they started letting students use it in the 1990s as 'student housing' started expanding further and further away from campus (I used to attend the same university 20+ years ago, and even though I lived on campus I took the same van home from a few house parties when my hangover precluded the walk 😂).
It doesn't really matter anymore as anything other than a thought exercise now that daughter has a bike (and will not be living with housemate anymore in a couple of months) but I'm now leaning towards 'cheeky' rather than 'sensible for not letting the seat go to waste'- it's not nice to feel taken advantage of (and based on the fact that housemate is the child of a tech boss You Have Probably Definitely Heard Of, it's not like she couldn't afford $2 once or twice a week).
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