Ride-hailing vehicles dirtier than toilet seats, study finds

NEW YORK — What do you think is dirtier, a taxi or an Uber?

You’d think they would be the same, but the average ride-share vehicle allegedly has 219 times as many germs as the average taxi, a study finds.

The backseat of an Uber or Lyft is actually three times germier than the average toothbrush and about 35,000 times germier than a toilet seat, according to a new study by netQuote.

The insurance company observed three ride-sharing vehicles, three taxis and three rental cars, and swabbed the seatbelt, door handle and window buttons. The study was not scientifically proven, but here's what they found:

  • Of the vehicles tested, ride-shares yielded the highest bacteria levels by far, with more than 6 million colony-forming units (CFU) per square inch on average.
  • The rental cars averaged more than 2 million CFU/sq. in., while the taxis had an average of just over 27,000 CFU/sq. in.
  • To put it in perspective, ride-shares averaged almost three times more germs than a toothbrush holder. Toilet seats and coffee reservoirs both contained fewer microorganism than ride-shares and rental cars.

Why are we seeing such high numbers? You’re not the only one sitting in the backseat of the ride-sharing vehicle, rolling down windows and holding onto door handles — and the vehicles are being cleaned with disinfectant less often than a public toilet.

As for a possible solution, ride-sharing drivers need to clean their backseat more, and companies may be working to develop an anti-microbial treatment to help keep those backseat cleaner, similar what’s being used in gyms.

The backseat of an Uber or Lyft is actually three times germier than the average toothbrush and about 35,000 times germier than a toilet seat, according to a new study by netQuote. (NetQuote)

 

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