I had heard a lot of buzz about Uber and I am now glad to say that I just had a first-hand experience using the transportation app on a recent trip to New York. I was about to take a cab into the city when my friend Stevie suggested that I use Uber, he said “Uber is paramount to the invention of the wheel in terms of an advance in modern transportation”. I gladly listened to his advice. It took less than five minutes to download the app, put in my credit card info and like magic (BAM!) an Uber car appeared. For those of you who don’t know, Uber is an incredible taxi/car service which fully functions via an app.
This is how Uber works:
- When you open the Uber app, you choose between a taxi, a black car, or an SUV.
- The base price, price per mile and price per minute will then be displayed. The app will also give you a price quote based on your destination.
- Uber uses GPS to show your location as well as the closest car option. Based on your car choice and location, it will give you a fairly accurate time estimate of the driver’s arrival.
- Uber will then display a picture of the driver you choose along with his/her rating (five stars being perfect) so you know exactly who is coming.
- Should you need to contact the driver, you have the option to either call or text message the driver.
- Once the driver is on his way, you can watch as a small car inches towards your location on the map.
- A text message alerts you that your driver has arrived.
- The best part comes next: When you reach your destination, simply exit the car and your credit card is charged the fare + 20% tip. You do not need to sign anything, make change, or even show your credit card.
- Immediately after the trip has ended, you will receive a text message receipt of the exact amount charged.
As a result from the rating service, the drivers are all very courteous and pick you up in extremely clean cars.
Here is the bad news. Although Uber wants to come to Miami, our current taxi/car service regulations do not allow for the service to operate here. I say if it is good enough for NYC and if it is good enough for San Francisco, then let the service operate and have the market decide! The taxi situation in Miami is a disaster, particularly at peak times and busy weekends which is exactly when Uber is most useful. It is well known that Miami has a bad reputation for dirty taxis and equally as many rude drivers. Uber is the yelp of transportation and forces accountability on a broken industry.
This is not just a blog post about a great service but a call to action for anyone in Miami who has ever waited over an hour on a rainy night for a taxi, for anyone who has ever had to walk 30 block on New Year’s Eve and for anyone who has sat in a foul-smelling cab with no AC and a rude driver. Please follow Uber Miami on twitter and support them in their quest to bring this great service to Miami.