Whether or not you’ve used it, you’ve likely heard of Uber. In case you need a refresher, here’s a quick rundown: Uber is a ride-sharing service that puts potential drivers through a background check so that they can become an impromptu taxi driver using their own car and Uber's tech platform. Basically users download the app, set up an account and solicit rides through the platform to the first available driver willing to give them a ride. If you haven’t already checked it out, you may want to get on board.
How Does it Work?
With Uber, all you have to do is download the app to your phone and setup a payment option. When you need to, you request a ride (or an “Uber” – I think I’ve heard it as both a noun and a verb) through the app and set your location using the location services on your device. At this point you will see a driver, what he/she drives and a fare estimate for your trip. Accept, wait, and you should be on your way shortly.
The number one selling point of the Uber app is definitely convenience. Rather than having to call a taxi and actually talk to someone (and not even the person who is likely picking you up), all you need to do is have the app locked and loaded on your phone. Once you log in and request a ride, Uber will find you and send someone to pick you up. All you do to pay is create your account using a credit card or PayPal, and your fare will be charged automatically at the end of your ride. It’s perfect for times where you need a quick ride home and don’t feel like dealing with the hassle of waiting for a taxi. For the most part, Uber really is quick. Someone will be there to pick you up within minutes, as the platform works based on the drivers’ proximity to your location. There’s a reason the app has seriously revolutionized the industry, especially in suburban areas where taxis are less common and more time consuming. It’s fast. It’s convenient. It works; for the most part.
The Not so Good
One drawback is the lack of a cash option: not many drivers take it; but some do, depending on the city. Also, the fare strategy seems to be a little inconsistent and wonky. It’s possible to pay a couple bucks for one ride; then pay double that fare to get back to the starting point. There doesn’t seem to be a solid regulation in place when it comes to the fares. I’ve also seen users complain about their accounts being deactivated for no reason, though I can’t comment on this personally. I did notice that Uber responded to these issues promising to look into them right away. The customer service seems okay, however as the company continues to grow I am sure that will diminish more in time.
Overall Uber is functional. More often than not I’ve found it convenient and very easy to use/navigate. I guess with any technological advance still in its early stages, you do assume some level of risk. Still, it’s an app worth having if you think you’ll find yourself in need of a quick, cheap ride.