Friday, April 3, 2015

My First Uber

SxSW is all about new things and serendipity. Interesting conversations with complete strangers yield surprising new connections and discoveries. On the last day, I "discovered" Uber.

Of course, I'd heard of Uber, but I'd never had a reason or even the opportunity to try it. A random chat with the guys waiting for the shuttle found its way to the topic of Uber. Our fellow shuttler was a big fan and said he'd found himself regularly skipping the shuttle wait and just getting an Uber ride.

He was singing the praises of Uber, demoing the app, touting all its great features, and then suggested, "Hey, let's just take it. It's on me." What did we have to lose?

The app showed five Uber drivers near us. Our self-appointed Uber ambassador clicked a button and our ride was on the way. We saw the driver's name and car description along with an ETA. Three minutes later (no lie!) our ride was there.

The car was spotless and our driver seemed way safer than any cabbie I've ridden with. The final tab was $13.50. We hopped out, then rated the driver and paid through the app. No tipping and no card or cash needed. Bonus: similar cab rides were running folks $30.

My initial understanding of Uber basically being AirBnB for rides was spot on, and my first impression was very favorable. I'll definitely be downloading the app and looking for good opportunities to try it again, but only when I have my husband or another trusted rider in tow.  

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