As I sit down to write my second blog post at CivicScience, I’m sensing an either/or question trend. Maybe I’ll run with it, no promises.

Sitting around with friends, a question has been brought up many times: where do you sit when taking an Uber or Lyft? I’m a front-seater myself, if accessible. I think it’s more personable, and it adds to the ride sharing idea, instead of feeling like a chauffeur service (though it may be). Plus, I’m a talker. I like to make conversation with the stranger who is driving me home from my (rare) late night out. My husband is of the same camp and prefers the front (I guess we really are a match) but for different reasons: he likes to keep an eye on the driver. Fair enough. Two fellow CivicScientists, Chris M. and Steve P., sit in the front because it’s more friendly and less-standoffish in their minds. My friend Emily who takes Uber quite frequently for her day-to-day outings opts for the back to create a boundary between her and the driver; more a comfort-level thing. Though we didn’t ask the reason behind the choice, let’s look at the basic results of back vs front:

Uber_lyft front back v2

Non ride sharers aside, back seat is the popular choice. I guess some think of it like a cab, where people usually sit in the back seat by social cue.

I have four main takeaways after digging into the data:

1. Men are 2X as likely as women to sit in the front seat.

Uber_lyft front back - gender

2. College graduates are more likely to answer Back seat.

Uber_lyft front back - education

3. Parents are less likely to answer front seat. (Maybe they need a breather.)

Uber_lyft front back - parental

Last but not least:

4. City dwellers are more likely to answer Front seat.

So, in this case maybe it’s what you’re used to? Rural area folk may want space, while city dwellers are used to being next to someone more often than not. Make small talk or keep to yourself, ride-sharing seems to only be growing.

At the very least you now have a good party question on hand and ready to go. I’ll provide you with your next one ASAP.