UBER-First Ride

My wife and I took our first UBER ride on a short trip to a local Diner even though it would have been cheaper to drive one of our two perfectly running cars.  This was a test run to see if UBER was a reasonable alternative to getting to the airport and avoiding the parking fees that can rival the cost of an airline ticket.  Other alternatives are Taxis which are expensive and friends who always offer us rides but most of them are moms juggling schedules and often running a little late—can you hold that plane Delta.  So, our obvious choice is to become UBERITES.

I noticed my frequent business travel neighbor leave his house and return in all different cars, some approaching the house as if they were looking for the address.  I asked about the rides and he proudly told me that all those cars were from UBER and he used the service all the time to get to the airport.  He was amazed that I was wasting my money on parking when UBER would cost much less than the airport parking fee and we would be chauffeured from our door to the airport curb.  “What about the reliability”—“no problem”.  “How do I sign up?”—“just download the app”.  It was an obvious choice to become an UBER guy but first I had to reconcile some of my preconceived negative impressions of UBER.

Some of my negative impressions came from online UBER reviews but this wasn’t a game changer since I’m a firm believer that most people who take the time to write a review have a bitch.

My biggest negative about riding UBER was from personal experience.  Years ago, as teenagers, my friends and I probably used the first form of UBER by hitchhiking everywhere. Like UBER, we’d find a willing local driver but instead of an app we’d stick out our thumbs and the nearest car would pick us up and get us to our destination, for free.  This was our main mode of transportation, working great most of the time, but it was sometimes risky since not all drivers were interested in just giving you a ride.  Occasionally we had to bail from our ride to escape and these memories along with common sense rules like “you shouldn’t ride with strangers” were creating a self-imposed barrier to saving money.  I needed to get past my imaginary images of rides from hell.Uber hell car cartoon

I was intrigued by the cost saving service so I started polling people, from waitresses to neighbors, and it became apparent that a lot of people were UBER disciples.  The benefits and cost savings of using UBER were starting to far outweigh any imagined problems so it was time to join my mom in the UBER world.  It seemed to be a prudent decision to start our UBER life with that leisure ride to breakfast where, if we crashed and burned (figuratively), it wouldn’t cost us $300 to change our flight.

I googled UBER and signed up giving my email, creating a password, entering contact info and credit card and then downloaded the app to my iPhone.  As per my neighbor’s advice I opened the UBER app about 10 minutes before I was ready to go and:

  1. Tapped the Uber app on my phone. …
  2. Tapped “Where to?” and entered my destination. …
  3.  Chose my vehicle type. …
  4. Confirmed the number of seats (size of car) …
  5. Checked the upfront pricing. …
  6. Tapped “Request Uber” to order the ride. …
  7. Confirmed my pickup location.

The app was very cool! It figured the price and opened a gps map locating an UBER car 6 minutes away, giving the car type and driver ID, “hello James”, and starting a countdown to pickup with gps map, location of the car and its route to our house- 6 minutes-4 minutes-3 minutes-1 minute, touchdown.  We greeted the personable driver, me climbing into the front and my wife the back-not sexist but seemed safer.  We talked, mostly about UBER, the whole 6.62-mile ride lasting 18 minutes, 19 seconds and costing $9.65 (7.15 +2.50 fees), all this info and a GPS route map logged under my rides.  No guesswork on your trips and cost.  The return trip was just as pleasant and the car arrived 8 minutes after my UBER request.  The only minor problems were: the cleanliness of the first car somewhere between the 10 of my cars and the 3 of a mom van slimed by hundreds of kid trips and the distracted second driver constantly looking down at the iPad GPS in her lap.uber app

This is a continuing experience and since I’ve only done a test run without the fear of missing a plane I’m reserving my total evaluation but so far I’m impressed.  I’m sure that not every ride will be perfect but I don’t use that word for anything.  I would urge you to try UBER and maybe you can save some money and if you run into problems I can ask my mom how to UBER.

One thought on “UBER-First Ride

  1. Maureen

    While you use the noun “Uberite,” I prefer the more dramatic “Uberella” to describe my ride-hailing self. I have used it in far away places as I travel for work, and now have the opportunity to try it at home. Yes. Uber had come to Albany. I am curious (and hopeful) to see if DUI/DWI arrests decrease.

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