Over the holiday weekend, Kim, Lucas and I spent a few days in Atlanta. While there we got great use out of our four-day MARTA passes. They were well worth the $19 we paid per person (Lucas was free). The pass allows for unlimited rides on trains and buses.
While the buses and trains come pretty regularly, at times it can be a long ride. For instance a 12 minute car ride might take around an hour on MARTA public transit.
Due to this I decided to finally try out Uber and burn my $35 credit that I earned from signing up and a couple of referrals.
Due to some interesting Google Maps updates, Uber now shows up in some searches which makes it tempting to use. During our visit, we used Maps all weekend long to get around and it was pretty much spot on with public transit and walking directions. I was tempted on a few occasions to select Uber but resisted until the last day.
We took a train and bus near the airport to visit the just reopened Delta Flight Museum. (Check for my post about the Delta Flight Museum in the next couple of days.) From our hotel in Midtown, this took around an hour. However, after the museum visit we would be heading to Turner Field to check out the home of the Atlanta Braves.
Getting to Turner Field is actually a bit of a pain when taking MARTA from the Delta museum. Even though it’s only around 8 mile away (13 minutes on average by car) Google Maps said that it would take around an hour and a half by public transportation.
To make our visit to the Delta museum not be a rush, I came up with the plan to use my Uber credit!
When checking Google Maps, it told me that Uber could pick us up within 4 minutes and the ride should take about 13 minutes. This sounded perfect!
Once I select Uber from within Google Maps, my Uber app opened up. I tried this a few times and was given a fare quote of $28-$36. Since I had the $35 credit this seemed to be perfect. The only question I had was- just how accurate is this quote?
Well it turned out that it wasn’t so accurate.
A moment after selecting my ride with Uber a text came in telling me that my Uber was on its way. Ranjit (4.7 stars) would pick us up in 4 minutes. Within the Uber app, a small photo of the driver along with the car showed up at the bottom. So far, so good!
Soon after the driver, Ranjit called my cell to confirm exactly where we were and let us know he would be by in a couple of minutes. I also got another text that my Uber was arriving.
The driver was polite, opened the door for us and helped put Lucas’ stroller in the trunk and we were on our way.
I loved how quickly you could call a car with a few clicks through the Uber app.
Even though the air was on, the car still felt a bit stuffy. After some smooth driving, when we got closer to the stadium, the road came to a halt and there was a lot of traffic. Definitely not something that you can blame the driver or Uber for.
While sitting in traffic, I was curious to know what the price was currently at. Now maybe since it was my first time using Uber I just didn’t know how to use the app properly but I couldn’t figure this one out. I figured the fare would be going up a bit since our Uber ride went from a 13 minute ride to around 25-30 minutes. I wondered if the fare would double in price or be more like a car service where your quote is your price. I pretty much knew the latter option wouldn’t be the case.
I am really uncomfortable with the unknown price of an Uber ride. When I take a taxi, even though I might not know the final price of a ride, I can at least see the price changing on the meter so there is little surprise (in a way) when you leave the car.
A couple of other things:
- Another positive is no money changing hands. Since you are booking with the Uber app, all payment is done with your credits and credit card on file. This makes for a quick and speedy exit. Also no need to worry about what to tip.
- Another negative– I noticed that the driver didn’t hit the end fare button on his phone until we were walking away from his car. I know (at least in NYC) when a cab ride ends at home, the button to end the fare is immediately pressed. I am not sure if this was how our driver did things or if this was an Uber policy.
In the end I loved Uber for the ease of calling a car through my iPhone but didn’t see much more positive to it than that. If I didn’t have a $35 Uber credit, I wouldn’t have tried the service.
Can someone please explain to me what all of the hype (and big deal) about Uber is?
Oh, I almost forgot- that fare which was quoted at $28-$36 came to $55 in the end which after an Uber discount of $.01 came to $19.99 out of pocket for us.
If any of you haven’t yet signed up for Uber and are interested in trying out the service you can get $10 credit after taking a ride with my invite link. Once you take a ride we will each receive $10 in Uber credit.