That is the question.
If you don’t know what Uber is, where have you been? Uber is an app-based transportation network and taxi company headquartered in San Francisco, California, and currently operates in 53 cities in 200 countries around the world. “Request, ride and pay via your mobile phone”.
I was on a trip to Beverly Hills back in early December. After staying overnight at the Hilton LAX, I needed to get to the Beverly Hills Hotel. I went to the concierge and asked about a transfer to Beverly Hills. He suggested Uber. I downloaded the Uber App in the hotel looby; set-up my account; and ordered a ride. Within a minute, I was told who was coming; their license plate and make of car (a very new Prius) – and that he would be here in 2 minutes. And sure enough he was with a big U sign in his front window.
As we were driving, I asked my driver a whole lot of questions about Uber. Vlad liked it. He was a post graduate student and would accept rides when he could and felt like driving. Uber takes 20% but he still makes decent money for part time, when available work. When we arrived, the fare was automatically billed to my credit card. Minutes later, the Uber receipt was in my e-mail. (And Vlad was on his way to UCLA). My fare was $24.50 – less than half of what a regular taxi would have cost. What was not to like?
Of course, there 2 issues (at least) with Uber. As it is, taxi drivers barely make a living in most cities. And now they have to compete with Uber? Uber is the subject of ongoing protests from taxi drivers, taxi companies and many city governments who say that Uber is nothing more than an illegal, cheap taxi operation (not a ride sharing service). Uber’s answer is to offer UberTaxi. If you want to support taxis, then order an UberTaxi. They also offer UberBlack for limousine rides.
The second big issue is safety and security. Do “regular” Uber drivers (UberX) have proper insurance coverage? Are drivers screened and vehicles inspected? The answer is yes according to Uber. I’m not so sure and not completely convinced from what I’ve heard. But how do I know that my taxi or limo driver is either?
I have no issues. I took Uber back to LAX…