This week juniors at Roberto Clemente Community Academy focused on linear inequalities in their Advanced Algebra & Trigonometry class. To extend their learning beyond the classroom, students started off the week investigating the prices of ridesharing services versus taxi rides within Chicago. Students read about the current issue of rideshare companies (such as Uber or Lyft) not being able to take passengers from the airport to a specific destination. Students then researched the cost of specific ridesharing companies and compared them to the price of regular taxis within Chicago.
In order for students to defend which type of taxi was best for the consumer and the employer, students researched the average prices of gas and miles per gallon to discover how much it actually cost the employer compared to how much the consumer is paying. Students accomplished this task by finding an address downtown and computing the mileage from there to the Chicago O’Hare Airport. They then used the prices of gas, miles per gallon and miles total to discover how much it cost the employer. Each student was given a different amount of money to theoretically use in this project to determine if they would be able to afford the ridesharing service or the taxi. Students modeled this through the use of linear equations. At the end of the project students had to defend which was the better deal for the consumer versus the employer.
Throughout this project, students had to use their communication and problem-solving skills. In addition to considering the numbers behind the options, students debated other aspects of each choice. For instance, while a consumer can request an Uber or a Lyft using their smartphone, a traditional taxi has to be hailed. Students are also exploring some of the labor concerns that impact the taxi market, including the debate over ridesharing services versus traditional taxicabs.