You might have noticed the kerfuffle that has been kicked up about this next generation taxi application - actually they call it private hire and ride sharing - over the last few months. Uber has been featured on the front pages of newspapers all over the world from New York to Australia. So, why is it causing such a fuss? Well, Uber has come into conflict with Government and traditional taxi companies who believe that there are insurance issues and that both cars and drivers should have to be licensed. But, the fact of the matter is, Uber appears to be a better system and is undoubtedly a faster and cheaper option to the regular taxi cab.
Uber is an on-demand car service that allows you to request private drivers through applications for iPhone and Android devices. The service utilizes dispatch software to send the nearest licensed professional driver to your location. While it describes itself as 'ride sharing' rather than a taxi service, you shouldn't be fooled into thinking that this is akin to carpooling as Uber will send you a sleek, executive-style black car. The service provides a no-cash-payment solution that charges your ride and tip directly to the credit card on file with your account. Uber allows you to reserve a personal driver in any of the cities that they operate in. Drivers don't work specifically for Uber, but pay a percentage to Uber so that they get listed. Choose your vehicle type from one of the five types of vehicle available (depending on the city you are in.) The original high-end black sedan for 4 people, a normal taxi, the budget UberX regular car, SUV for 6 people or the very high-end luxury car option. Mark your location, accept the low, low quoted price and wait for your ride - they'll tell you how long it will be as well as your driver's phone number. Average pickup times vary by city, time and the amount of business. Uber charges are based on a combination of time and distance. If the car is travelling under 11 mph, you will be charged by the minute, and if you are travelling over 11 mph, you will be charged by the mile. You will also have to pay a base rate, that varies by location. Fares are different in every city, so be sure to check the Uber website for fares in your area. All cities have a minimum fare but you wont have to scrabble around for spare change as all payments and tips are handled automatically by the Uber service who have your credit card on file. Uber drivers are not tipped.
Uber was founded originally back in 2009 and, to date, the app has been launched in over 70 cities worldwide. It changes the way we think about cab rides by seamlessly connecting passengers with private drivers directly from the app. Our cities immediately become more accessible, passengers are better catered for with a better, faster and cheaper service and the work market is opened up with improved business opportunities for drivers. Über is particularly useful when you land in a new city. Several cities have objected and even banned Uber from operating in their district - citing licensing issues - but with some price comparisons being 50% of the price of regular trips, that isn't going to last for long. All hail the new taxi service -or should I say ride sharing. It's the new way to go.