Riding in style in a test city
What’s great about living in San Francisco? It’s a test city. The population is young and diverse and ready to try the latest and greatest.
Although Dave and I are lucky enough to have one car in the City, many people live without one entirely. That means you spend a lot of time on public transportation, walking, biking or using cabs.
For the first few months of our residency, Dave and I used cabs to go out to dinner at night when we didn’t want to drive. That meant waiting on the street, flagging someone down and fumbling with cash or credit payment and tipping at the end of the ride.
Cabs no more.
We’re now proud members of the Uber service. Uber is a private black-car transportation program, where you can request a car directly from your cell phone via an app and have a ride appear in just minutes anywhere in the City.
As with many start-ups and new ideas, Uber was founded in San Francisco and is now becoming available in larger cities across the United States and Europe.
Once you download the app, it automatically stores your name, credit card information, history and shows you a live map of where black cars or SUVs are located near your pick-up destination. The driver gives you a quick call before he/she arrives and then welcomes you into the vehicle by name. Once the ride is done, you hop out without the need to stop to pay. A few minutes later a receipt is delivered to your email inbox, and you’re done. Not to mention, you get a chance to rate your driver after the ride by selecting the amount of stars he/she deserves. Thus far I’ve had a driver ask me trivia questions during my ride, one who gave me information about neighborhoods and one who was totally silent. Apparently your driver can rate you as well. Let’s hope I am a five-star passenger.
Although it costs a bit more than a regular cab, the guaranteed excellent customer service, convenience and ease of use from your phone, make it a great way to get around town.
Uber is a little bit controversial and has been tangled in some lawsuits with city governments and cab companies, who believe the service is unfairly competing with cabs. It’s been shut down in a few cities, and is fighting to come back. There are also competitors popping up, include SideCar and Lyft, but we haven’t tried those services.
Joining Uber was just another step in the right direction to becoming a true San Franciscan.
It was a good fit for us. We like the latest and greatest, and we like to ride in style. Uber = uber cool.