Friday, June 13, 2014

Does Uber Hurt Taxi Services?

I'm sure that it does, but in my experience NO!

I just started using Uber about a month ago and I've used it about 6 times so far.  All of the trips have been short (going to the besties house to hang out and drink) but they were efficient.

The neighborhood that I live in is not well traversed by Taxis, in fact I don't think I've ever seen an empty Taxi on my street looking for fares.  Even if I walk two blocks to the "main thoroughfare" it's still hit or miss, there is no reliable Taxi service in my neighborhood.  Yes I can call a Taxi company and order a Taxi but there are many problems with that: firstly, just trying to get to dispatch.  The few times I've called to order a Taxi it has taken multiple calls to the dispatch to even TALK to someone who may or may not be able to get a Taxi for you.  They'll "say" they're sending one out, but there's no guarantee, so you could be sitting there forever waiting for a cab.  Even if they do dispatch, that doesn't mean that a driver will pick it up.  Most drivers want long expensive fares to the airport (who can blame them) they don't want to schlep me between my house and my besties.

The nice thing about Uber is that it is FAST, I mean like super fast.  You can't order an Uber car until you're ready to walk out the door.  The first time I ordered an Uber it was there before I was done brushing my teeth.  When you pull up the Uber app you see immediately how long it will take to get a car, the longest I've ever seen it for my neighborhood was 7 minutes and it arrived a few minutes less than that.

After you order an Uber you immediately know who your driver is (one day my drivers name was Sunday) along with a picture, the kind of car they're driving and their license plate number.  Then it's just a matter of waiting, but there's not much waiting.  You get a text to confirm your Uber and you get a text when they're close by.  Heck you can even follow along in the app to see EXACTLY where they are.

Once you're in the car is the only time I've had an issue with Uber.....where to sit, front or back?  It feels natural to get in the back seat of a Taxi, because you're protected by that plexiglass separating you and the driver, but in an Uber it feels weird to get in the back seat, like you're Miss Daisy or something.  I've ridden up front twice in my trips the rest were in the back seat, its cool, it just feels weird.

The other nice thing about Uber is that it's cashless.  No fumbling trying to pull money out of my pocket, no trying to figure out how much of a tip I should give, you just get in the car, politely tell the driver where you'd like to go and that's it.

I know the Taxi companies are complaining that Uber is not playing fare, but in my opinion it's the Taxi companies that need to step up their game.  If a Taxi company could provide me with the level of service that Uber provides me, I would use it!  But they don't.  You can't track an ordered cab, that is if you can order it to begin with, you can't be guaranteed you'll find a cab on the street, you can't go cashless (I REFUSE to use my credit card on one of those machines in a cab), but you do always know that you should sit in the backseat!

1 comment:

Roshan RK said...

The other nice thing about Uber is that it's cashless. No fumbling trying to pull money out of my pocket, no trying to figure out how much of a tip from taxi service in nagpur .