Hitch a Ride with Uber

by Akhil Kalepu

Dec 2, 2014

© Nejron | Dreamstime

© Bigapplestock | Dreamstime

© Bigapplestock | Dreamstime

By now you’ve heard of Uber, the ridesharing service that has taken urban transportation by storm. Aiming to replace the traditional taxi service, Uber allows users to hail a driver right on their phone and pay online with their credit card.


Back in 2009, Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick founded UberCab, operating out of San Francisco, Calif. After a series of angel investments, the company expanded to 45 countries and more than 200 cities around the world. The company has since faced backlash in regards to regulations, so be sure to check Uber’s status in your city.


The app itself is free to download for iOS, Android and Windows Mobile. Simply register your phone number and credit card information and you’re ready to go. The app will find your location and match you with a driver, displaying how long it will take for the car to arrive. Once your pick-up location is set, users are sent the driver’s photo, name and license plate number. Gratuity is calculated into the rate, so payment is smooth and automatic, sending an e-receipt once you arrive.


There is a $15 minimum for rides, which makes the service best suited towards medium to long trips in the city, and also a cheaper alternative to traditional taxis. Uber has a strong focus on customer feedback, asking users to rate their drivers and give feedback. A representative known as an Uber Community Manager quickly follows up on negative comments.


As Uber’s popularity increased, it came under scrutiny for its lack of regulations compared to traditional taxis, as well as its compensation policies for drivers. There have been questions about the background checks it does on drivers, which are not as thorough as a taxi company.


In spite of the criticism, there is no denying Uber’s popularity and novel take on taxi service. To learn more, visit their website at Uber.com.


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