What’s an Uber?

nancyIf you are part of the Phoenix-Metro design community you most likely have a car, truck or SUV as part of your business. I would say it would be nearly impossible to visit job sites or clients, or whatever you do for your business, without transportation readily available at your fingertips.

With that being said, chances of using Uber in the Phoenix-Metro area are slim to none unless, of course, you need to get to the airport and didn’t want to use long-term parking and had no other way to get there.

Before I go on, for those who don’t know what Uber is: (The Oxford Dictionary defines Uber as: “denoting an outstanding or supreme example of a particular kind of person or thing.” From the German meaning “above”-“over”- “across.” ) Uber Technologies Inc. is an American international transportation network company headquartered in San Francisco, California. The company develops, markets and operates the Uber mobile app, which allows consumers with smartphones to submit a trip request which is then routed to Uber drivers who use their own cars.

My first experience with Uber was in Queens, New York, when I was there for Maker Faire. I had never used the service and was introduced to it by Dan, my travel companion, who explained that he had used Uber 65 times in 9 cities. I am very familiar with New York City cabs and remember the many times I would be standing off the curb trying to hail a cabbie in the snow and rain only to be ignored. If I was lucky enough to get one, the interior of the car was pretty smelly and ugly. The cabbie was not the friendliest, and I would just hope I got to my destination safely. I could never estimate what the fee would be, and then there was the tip, of course. Smartphones did not exist in the days when I worked in NYC so I was at the mercy of the cabbies and mass transit.

As a quick “How Does Uber Work,” the Uber app typically is installed with a credit card and the usual required information. To order a ride, pick the kind of vehicle you would like, mark your position on the map with a pin and put in your destination. You are then given the type of vehicle, license plate number, your driver’s name and how many minutes you will wait. You can track the vehicle on your phone as it approaches. The cars are immaculate, the drivers are very friendly offering water and, before you know it, you are at your destination. You say “thank you,” and get out of the car. Your credit card is charged without a tip. You can rate the ride as well as be rated by the driver which is an advantage. For more information, go to Uber.com.

FYI: Las Vegas and Phoenix has Uber service as well as hundreds of other cities globally.

I give this service 5 stars.
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