I know there are plenty of good taxi drivers but we’ve all had the stereo-typical experience with taxis – waiting forever for a taxi to show up; having a driver who has no idea where your destination is or argues with you about the best route to take; being cheated on a fare. A couple weeks ago, I was in Hermosa Beach, Los Angeles and decided to try hiring an Uber taxi to get to the airport.
I had the app on my phone so simply set my pick-up location. Immediately I could see real time car icons driving around, like this image shows. I could see my car driving toward me with an estimated pick-up time of two minutes. I checked the car – a black Prius with the driver’s name, picture and profile. About two minutes later, he pulled up and off we went. Prior to getting the pick-up, Uber told me that the trip would be about 16 minutes and estimated the fare to be $13-15. Sure enough, after a pleasant trip, we arrived at LAX Terminal 2 and I was ready to go. One nice feature of the Uber app is that Uber acts as the intermediary with the taxi driver. I just jumped out of the car and my credit card was automatically billed; no worrying about finding change or if the driver had overcharged me.
I think Uber has had some growing pains and it has most definitely caused some conflict with local taxi companies and some city governments (see Toronto, Vancouver). It will be interesting to see how this leading edge technology pans out over the coming months but my first experience was excellent and I look forward to using it again.