I’ve always been a fan of Uber for the strange promotions that they run (delivering kittens, Christmas Trees, air conditioners, they’ll even bring you lunch!) and not so much for the actual core service that they provide, giving you a ride…
Maybe it isn’t fair to judge a service that you don’t use all too much, I’d rather take public transportation. But, when you hear about the horrors of surge pricing, it defintely leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
I also had a negative experience during my first time using the service. However, Uber did make good by following up on a survey I completed and then refunded me $24.
A couple of weeks back I surprisingly used Uber two times in one day.
I will be upfront and say a big reason I used Uber was due to having free ride credits to burn.
(If you don’t already have an Uber account, you can sign up with my link. You’ll get your first ride free, up to $20 and after you take your ride, I’ll also earn a free ride up to $20.)
Regardess of the rides being free, Uber ended up being extremely useful, convenient and efficient.
Although my credits were good for up to $20, we used them for short rides which only cost $8-$10. These were rides that we would most likely pay for in future situations if needed.
Here is a little about each of our Uber rides and why we used it & found the service helpful.
Ride 1: Ride from restaurant, The Dutch to the Woolworth Building
We had originally planned to take the train to our destination after brunch. Since we were running late, we couldn’t take a chance of missing the train. This is where Uber became an extremely useful tool. Few cabs were driving around the area we were at (from what I noticed) plus I had a$20 Uber credit to use. I checked the Uber app and got a fare estimate of $9-$12 for the ride.
I decided to request a car and to my dismay it said the car would be by in 6-7 minutes. This was going to cut it close to the time of our tour but it actually showed up 4 minutes later.
The car was clean, the driver was friendly and safely drove us to our destination. We got there just in time. Kim and I were happy with the decison to use Uber.
Our fare came to $10.40 so the fare estimate was dead on. While I would’ve liked to have used more of my $20 credit, this was still a great way to use Uber when we had a real need opposed to using it just for the sake of it.
Ride 2: Hells Kitchen to the Omni Berkshire Place
Our second Uber ride was more of a test since we were really in no real rush just exhausted. During the day we had walked about 6 miles. After dinner we were tired and didn’t feel like walking to the train, waiting and getting back to our hotel 30-40 minutes later when we could probably be back in under 10 minutes with Uber.
I once again requested a car and was told it would be by in 3-4 minutes. Not bad. We turned our head a moment later and immediately saw our car pulling up less than a minute after our request. I kid you not.
The driver again was polite and friendly, asking how our day had been. She also asked us if we wanted the air conditioning on or windows open- very nice and hospitable if you ask me.
We made it to our hotel 7 minutes later and I’d guess that had we taken the train, we would’ve just been waiting for the train… Maybe.
This ride was only $8.60, arguably a waste of a $20 Uber credit. If paying, not exactly a lot more to pay for convenience and time saved for not using the subway. (A one-way fare is $2.75 so had we taken the train it would’ve cost Kim and I $5.50.)
Overall, I’d say that I do now better understand why so many of you love Uber.
For short trips when you’re in a hurry or just really tired, I get it. It’s the longer rides that scare me due to the unknown of what your fare might be. There’s also always that thing called surge pricing which can make this short, cheap rides not so cheap…
How do you feel about Uber? Is it worth the convenience or would you rather take public transportation and save?
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4 thoughts on “Uber: I Get It, Kind Of…”
We were in Charleston last weekend and had a dinner reservation for 6:15, it was 6:10. Our original plan was too walk, but that would take 15 minutes. I signed up for Uber a couple weeks ago and decided to give it a shot. The DW was skeptical but went along. The driver showed up a minute later and we were at the restaurant at 6:17.
He was engaging, the car was clean and he even had bottled water for us.
One thing I have been playing around with on the app is using Uber to get home from the CLT airport. A shuttle costs $50 a person. If traveling with the DW and daughter the Uber estimate is $83-$110.
I am not a huge taxi user, but I think Uber just may be my way to get around when things go South.
Once you have used up any referral credits you might have, it’s worth taking a look at a pretty useful blog that posts Uber promo codes for people who already have taken advantage of the new sign up bonus… it’s saved me a few bucks in my travels, and allowed me to take Uber for free.
I guess the value of uber depends on your destination. I use uber all the time in LA and it’s extremely useful and fairly inexpensive. Rates are way cheaper than taxi and muchore reliable. With a taxi driver they are constantly insisting you pay in cash and then tip him on top of that. With uber everything is requested and paid for electronically. You can also see the car on the map so you know how far he’s away and tipping is not required nor do the drivers expect it. When comparing it to public transportation, I guess I value my time and privacy more than a few extra dollars. And finally, anyone complaining about surge pricing is not very intelligent. It’s based on a supply and demand basis and you’re never caught off guard because they clearly tell you what the rates are (I.e. 1.5X normal fare and make you type it in before ordering). Convenient, affordable, reliable, I love it!
Yes, I often take Uber to work in Boston because I can get there in about 8 minutes door to door, and pay about $5. Note, the Capital One Quick Silver 20% off promotion going on for about the next year.
It simply takes longer to take public transportation. That same trip, on Boston’s T, would take about 20 minutes door to door. It is exponentially faster to take Uber, unless there is heavy traffic. It is not eeven close, it takes double the time to use transit. This is unfortunate, but true.
Similarly, to or from BOS airport, I can do it with Uber, Lyft, or Sidecar in about 13 to 16 minutes. Public transit, about an hour! Again, its not even close! This is again unfortunate, but the sad truth.
We need to make multi billion dollar investments in public infrastructure to build a world class transit system like I hear they have in Japan, but American policymakers are too cheap and shortsighted to do it.
Even BOS’s silver line is just a glorrified bus, again, they went the cheap route!
And how long would it take me on transit to get from LGA, JFK, or EWR? AGain, policymakers haven’t poured those billions in to the needed infastructure in NYC either!