What is Uber?
Uber is a startup private luxury car service company which is based in San Francisco and has expanded out to major cities in the world. The Uber service revolves around the Uber mobile app which makes it convenient to order for car service and book a driver, and expect to be picked up in a few minutes.
With a few flicks of your phone, “hailing a cab” will soon be a phrase forgotten in the world’s key cities. Uber operates 24/7 on-demand, which means that you cannot do advance booking or reservation. The cabs that Uber offers are black limousine cars, typically Toyota Prius, Holden Caprice, Mercedes E-Class and S-Class, BMW 5 Series and 7 Series, Volkswagen Passat, and Audi A6 and A8.
Uber’s aggressive goal is to revolutionize the taxicab service industry and become the world’s top cab service company providing luxurious and reliable traveling experience to commuters.
How Uber is different from other taxis?
Uber is making waves because it disrupts the status quo in the taxicab industry.
- For one, it shows that hailing a cab is a thing in the past. Instead, it offers a mobile app where you can order a car and have a slick black car glide to your exact location in a matter of minutes, rain or shine.
- The profile of the car and driver can be viewed via the app. It also shows the driver’s rating which shows you how the driver has been rated by other passengers.
- The luxury cars are immaculately clean and the drivers are courteous – a far cry from the hellish taxi experience commuters typically encounter.
- A feedback system ensures that the passenger has a say on how the driver and the service are rated.
- The payment mode is fuss-free, with credit card payment initially established during membership application. No more fumbling for cash at the end of the trip.
- When you book for a yellow cab, you often get an operator who tells you that your car is being sent your way. Exactly when the cab will finally arrive, you wouldn’t know. With Uber, you get instant confirmation and information about your driver, the car, and the number of minutes the car will get to your location.
How does Uber work?
1. Signing Up
Becoming a member is the first step. Download the iPhone, Blackberry, or Android application. Sign up as member by providing your information and credit account details. You will then receive a text message confirming the data you entered, and welcoming you to the service. The Uber app is ready to use right away.
2. Using the app and ordering the car
Order for car service through the app and tell Uber your location or pick up location. You may use your phone’s GPS or enter your address to indicate where you want to be picked up.
3. Waiting for the car
Uber will confirm your order for a car by sending a message informing you about the estimated time the car will arrive. When the car arrives at the appointed address, you will receive another message informing you that it has arrived. The driver will open the door for you once he has confirmed that you are his passenger.
Inform the driver of your destination. You can prefer to be quiet or choose to keep a conversation with the driver. Drivers usually own the cars they drive; you can expect them to drive with the highest caution and traffic courtesy.
5. After the drive
The driver will inform you that you have reached your destination. There are no tips or payments to be made in cash since your credit card will be accordingly charged. Instead, you will receive your bill from Uber, and a prompt for your rating and feedback. An email will be sent you with the breakdown of your bill, plus other information on speed, route taken, and mileage.
Uber is already available in 32 major cities at present, including Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Toronto in North America; Bogota, Lima, Mexico City and Panama City in Central and South America; Amsterdam, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Brussels, Johannesburg, London, Moscow and Paris in Europe, Middle East and Africa; Melbourne, Sydney, Singapore, Bangkok and Tokyo in Asia and Australia. Uber is growing its availability from city to city, with the vision of becoming the global default taxi cab of the future.
Theupsides of using Uber are very obvious. It has transformed commuting to luxuryand convenience. The limousine cars are top-of-the-line, with three levels to choose from – the UberX (entry level), UberExec (mid-range), and UberLux (high-end).
Getting a cab in the middle of the night, outside your doorstep, and far out in the boroughs will not be a headache anymore if you live in a city where Uber operates.
Paying up is easy; you neither need cash nor the physical presence of your credit card. The pricing varies from one city to another, but it is generally higher than the usual cab rates. For limos shared by 4 passengers, the bill can be split among Uber-member passengers, making the resulting rate much affordable.
Drivers are generally courteous, polite, and well-dressed. They are rated after the drive, and that is empowering for passengers.
The Uber cars don’t have meters like taxis do. A passenger has no way of getting an idea how much the service is costing during the trip. There is a way to estimate through the app, though.
While the Uber app provides the passenger with the driver’s profile, licenses are not displayed like in the typical cab.
The GPS can be a little inaccurate at times, but the discrepancy is not that huge. This can be improved in the future to complete the flawlessness of the Uber system.
Some people may find the service expensive; but luxury cannot be cheap. A cancellation fee is automatically charged, too, once a car has been called and later aborted. It can be anywhere from $5 to $10.
There is the issue on surge pricing which the company uses to attract more Uber drivers on the road during peak times. The price of the car service can go up between 25% and 200% of the normal price when the demand for rides is greater than the available number of Uber drivers on the road.
Why you should use Uber
Uber is the future for the commuting public. That future is happening now. Its system is not without its hitches, but that is how innovative ideas work and see progress through. You should use Uber because it is convenient, reliable and efficient. It might not be the cheapest mode of moving on the road, but it is priced competitively. If you put value on convenience, the price of Uber stacked against competing companies practically levels off.
Public commuting has transformed into a pleasant and hassle-free experience, and it has arrived in a black luxury car.