Uber is an on-demand private driver service. If you need a ride, it’s as easy as opening an app on your iPhone or Android and letting the driver know your location (if you don’t have a smartphone, you can text your address too). Once you play pin the point to where you are game (it’s really easy, I think they had to make it drunk proof) a driver will be notified and in less than 10 minutes your car arrives. Payment is taken care of via your credit card (that is saved in the app). There is even an option to split the fare with friends in the car, which is super nifty.
My experience with Uber started at Robbie Fox’s (here in Tempe, on Mill Ave) where Uber was doing a promotion. I signed up for their service and they gave me $15 of promotional credit, two free drinks and a free t-shirt. It was a pretty sweet deal. A few weeks later, I put Uber to the test. Currently, I’m at the San Diego Comic-Con and had to use Uber. We figured it’d be cheaper to park at the airport for $11 a day instead of at the hotel for $28 a day. To get to the hotel from the airport parking lot we used Uber.
I whip out my phone, open the Uber app, see the blue dot which is my location, move the pin to my location and tap. We used UberX here in San Diego (it’s a cheaper option than using the UberBlack, a fancy black sedan) which for a 3.5 mile car ride came out to be $12, including the tip. The app is really cool, you can see the little car moving en route to your location. It gives you the estimated time. You see who your driver is beforehand and the rating they’ve received. There’s also the option to tap on the driver, where you can either give him a call or send him a text (in case s/he gets lost).
UberX uses individual drivers in private cars. They drive around and take calls and they can stay on duty pretty much whenever they like. Your call is routed to the nearest driver based on GPS and if that driver doesn’t choose to accept the call within a very short period of time your call gets routed to the next closest person. So you never have to wait for too long.
A few minutes later, our driver arrives, we load up our stuff, get in and drive off. Our driver, Jonathan, offered us mints and was super friendly. We made chit-chat and when we arrived, there was no need for cash exchange (since the promo and saved credit card), and I received a receipt in the e-mail.
Is this service worth it? Absolutely. Uber is in many cities, if you can go for the cheaper UberX, go fot it, but unfortunately not all cities offer it (Tempe doesn’t). But Uber is safe, easy and the drivers are very friendly. Plus if you get the UberBlack, you travel in style. The price is pretty fair, it’s roughly 10-15% more than a taxi, but the convenience it offers is great. Plus, there are a lot of promo codes to use.
Are there any cons to it? I can see the price for UberBlack or UberSUV stacking up say if you were in traffic or have to travel a long way. But I think for less than 10 miles of travel it is worth it.
Once you sign up, open your app and add the promotion code iknowmatt for $25 off your first ride. Give it a whirl, you get a free ride your first time. 🙂
Check out the cost break-down for Phoenix below.