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.