Taxi war stories are only fun in hindsight. Now there’s a better way. If you haven’t already used Uber, it’s the smart, efficient way to get around that’s better than a taxi service. You don’t have to deal with cash, the downtown parking circus, or trying to bum a ride from a friend next time you’re headed to the airport or the bar.
With Uber you get personal service, and there’s no cash involved
Taxis are so impersonal, and using cash makes it a hassle. But with Uber, it’s not a business coming to pick you up, it’s just a friendly person from the neighborhood who likes to drive. There’s no cash involved because all transactions are done through your smartphone, and there’s also no obligation to tip the driver.
The drivers are reliable, friendly and safe
Uber has a rating system so that only great drivers are on the road. At the end of each trip, you rate the experience on a scale of 1-5, and if drivers have an average rating below the required average for their city, they’ll get locked out of the Uber system. But don’t be a jerk because drivers rate riders, too. Uber also ensures that all drivers have reliable, clean cars with no body damage, so don’t worry about breaking down in a janky Pontiac.
Uber has different levels of service available
Uber services vary by city, and the most common service is UberX, which is an everyday car for up to four people. Black Car, Uber’s original service, is another four-person sedan option, but it’s also more expensive. SUV will take up to six people, which is more expensive than Black Car, and LUX is Uber’s most expensive option with a high-end luxury car that seats four. Uber Taxi is also available, which is a taxi that has an agreement with Uber and accepts payment through the app instead of cash.
Make Uber the best possible experience
You do need a smartphone to use Uber, and it takes about five minutes to set it up, so make sure you do that before you’re in a hurry to get somewhere. You just sign up online, install the app, and log in. You’ll enter payment information, and then when you are ready to get picked up, you request a ride and put in your destination.
We’ve also found a few tricks that make Uber a better experience.
Make sure to put in your location and destination before the driver picks you up because it saves time and confusion. GPS isn’t always accurate.
Watch out for surge pricing. When there’s a high demand for Uber drivers, the price goes up, so try to get a driver before those congesting hours.
The biggest complaint about Uber is that you can’t schedule rides in advance, which is something to consider, but Uber is growing so fast there should always be a driver available in your area. Just plan ahead and make sure to request your driver about fifteen minutes beforehand.
You can also use Uber on your Apple Watch, and request rides and receive notifications right from your wrist.
So we’re kind of obsessed with Uber. I used it one day between meetings. I got a lot of work done in the back seat and shamelessly enjoyed some personal service. Overall, the best things to take away from our experiences with Uber: it has great service, no tipping, and no cab drivers taking you to an ATM because you didn’t bring enough cash.