Friday, December 27, 2013

Uber - A New Way to Get Around

Within the last few years, I heard about Uber.  Started as a sedan service, it brings additional convenience by letting you order the car from their mobile app with a network of drivers, often resulting in much shorter wait times.  As someone who prefers to take public transportation when possible to save, I was a little skeptical about the value.

Evidently, I wasn't the only one.  Uber then launched UberX - an additional fleet of drivers and hybid/midsize cars to provide an option that is less expensive than cabs. 

I had a promo code and decided to give it a try when we went to my boyfriend's holiday party.  The first thing to note is to make sure to slide the bar from "Black Car" to the left for "uberX".  When you register and request your first car once you do the text confirmation, you have to do the request again, which was a little confusing (someone else I know faced the same issue as well), but once the request was in, we were alerted that our driver was on his way, given his name and a time estimate.  We used Uber again to get to the airport for our recent Christmas travels and it truly was faster, easier, and less expensive than a taxi.

Also, no cash is exchanged.  You load your credit card information into the app, and then it charges you and emails your receipt.  You can also do a fare estimate before ordering the car, which gives you a range of what the cost might be to help you figure out if you want to order the car or not.  Tipping is not expected, as the driver receives the majority of the fare, but you rate your driver after the ride through the app.

Over Christmas, I found out that a family member is driving for UberX in Chicago.  He told us that the drivers get 80% of the fares (and get the full money even when the passenger uses a promo code) and it's a great side gig, especially during "surge" times when fares jump up (this is how he's spending his New Year's Eve, which is how this came up in the first place).  The application process was quick and easy. He has a separate phone from them that he can turn on and then is offered a fare when he is the closest person.  He then has a limited window (of seconds) to accept it or it goes to the next driver.  As long as he takes one fare a month he can remain a driver.  Consider checking out driving if you're looking for a new job or a flexible side gig. 

Uber is now in over 50 cities and 25 countries.  Check out and see if it's available where you live, or where you'll be traveling for work or pleasure.  Download the app and use my promo code AVPKL for $10 off your first ride.  After that, you'll have your own promo code you can share and new users you refer will get $10 off their first ride and you'll get $10 in credit when they use it as well.

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