Uber for someone who knows only taxis

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nisiprius
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Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by nisiprius » Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:39 am

I'm thinking that I probably need to sign up for and "learn how to use" Uber, as one more available transportation option. I've literally never used it before nor have I ever shared a ride with anyone using it. I'd like those who have used it to compare it, as best they can, to the experience of using taxis.

What are your tips on using Uber? (Speaking of which... what about tips?)

My experience in using taxis is that only once in my whole life have I ever been seriously uncomfortable with a driver (he was drunk). How often have you personally been seriously uncomfortable with Uber?

What would you say about the "professionalism" of Uber drivers? Let's say taxi drivers in general are 7 on a scale of 1-10 where...

How do you feel about Uber's "reliability" particularly with respect to availability, how arrival time compares with taxis, how well arrival times match promises and estimates?

I live in a suburban town--sprawling area of continuous suburb as it were--population 40,000. There are no longer any taxis companies whose taxis are actually stationed in my town, and typical calls during "normal" times will promise arrival in 15 to 30 minutes and often be five minutes late. My need for Uber includes things like 10-15 mile trips when my wife needs the car, or occasional 5-mile trips in the nearby Big City when the weather is bad and the public transportation options are bad.
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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by h82goslw » Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:46 am

My state just approved Uber back in July and have used it several times since. Very easy, drivers have been great (they all want the 5 star rating) and reasonably priced. Way better than using a taxi.

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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by h82goslw » Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:47 am

My state just approved Uber back in July and have used it several times since. Very easy, drivers have been great (they all want the 5 star rating) and reasonably priced. Usual pick up time is within 15 minutes and you can actually see where they are on your smartphone as they approach.
Way better than using a taxi.

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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by livesoft » Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:49 am

I'm not so experienced with Uber, but very experienced with taxis worldwide. I have used Uber in San Francisco a few times with no issues including weird hours. Also on Long Island in the suburbs. I used Didi Chuxing in China for a 1 hour trip which was excellent. My daughter uses Uber all the time and never had a complaint.

My advice is just do it. Perhaps even a test trip on a not-so-critical mission will get you over any anxiety. But like all taxi rides, every one can be different.
Last edited by livesoft on Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by Sportswhiz00 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:00 am

Uber is as easy to use as google maps. Always pick UberX (a dollar or two more than base rates) to avoid having to carpool. Cars are always clean, more so than taxis, and drivers always nice and professional in my experience, in each case much more so than taxis.

I stared using Uber when I had surgery and my wife couldn’t drive me to and from appointments. Loved it. It’s cheaper than a taxi in the city but the real benefit is in the suburbs where you otherwise might have to call around for taxis to come to your house.

Most people don’t tip. I generally give five or ten dollars, more if I have to make the person wait (such as if I’m coming from a train) or drive around to find me.

The price is shown before you click accept and it doesn’t change no matter how long it takes. However, I have found that some drivers have turned on “avoid tolls” on their maps to save money and this can lead to going out of the way. I always tell them exactly how I want to get somewhere and pay attention closely because on one or two occasions they’ve gotten lost (unlike taxi drivers, they don’t do this everyday and may have no familiarity with a particular suburb).

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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by westie » Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:27 am

My experiences with Uber have been great. Before you open the door to their vehicle you have a photo of who's driving the car, their tag number, ETA, how far away they are from picking you up and how much it's going to cost. Many drivers use GPS to identify traffic problems along your route, I highly recommend it.

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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by Trapper » Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:33 am

I downloaded the Uber Ap to my cellphone.
I linked payment to paypal, which just goes to one of my credit cards.
Fooling around with the Ap the first time, I was surprised to have summoned a car and driver.
I found this out because he texted me saying he was on my street and wanted to know which house to stop at.
This was in a midwest city of 50K people. I took a ride with him and picked up my car at the auto shop. I let my friend know I would not need a ride.
I have routinely used Uber since if I need a ride. Cheap and fast is my experience in San Diego and locally. Some very rural areas (think cabs an hour away), have no availability, but the Ap will tell you when you try to summon a car.
I have no experience using it in large cities or during peak demand times.
All drivers have been super, and cars clean.
At the end, you can add a tip from your smartphone if you like, but it is optional.
You can't get an estimate of what the ride will cost from the Ap, but I ask the driver and they have been always in the ballpark with their estimate of ride cost.
Highly recommend trying.
My son suggested Lyft also as a competitor.

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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by shorvath » Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:39 am

I use Lyft/Uber on a weekly basis. Where its available, I prefer Lyft. Currently their services are pretty much identical, but in the past Lyft has had much better background check procedures for drivers. Uber has been improving to match them.

The drivers don't expect tips! Though i tend to throw on an extra dollar or so when I have had them do something annoying/time consuming.

Arrivals times: Highly variable depending on location/ time of week, but the app is very transparent. Once a car has been assigned, you can see their current location, the route they should be driving to reach you, and the current estimated time to arrival. Friday early evening on campus - 3 minute pickup. Sunday night in the suburbs - 10-15 mins pickup.

Professionalism: I have actually never ridden in a taxi, so no point of comparison. After ~4 years of at least 1 uber/lyft ride per week I have only had two drivers that I considered to be of poor quality.

I always chat with the drivers a bit about their work. Only about half of the drivers I've had drive full time. Many of them use it to pick up extra cash on the weekends. One of my friday rides sometime back was in a Mercedes with a Samsung corporate marketing guy. This was really soon after the exploding phones things so I wonder if he was nervous about job security. Last night I rode with a young guy who just moved to the area to start a job with a pharma company, but his start date isn't til after Thanksgiving, so he needed something to do/cash.
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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by livesoft » Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:42 am

Just make sure you get into the right car: The one that you have agreed to use. Check car make/color, driver name, etc.
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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by jimmd » Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:48 am

westie wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:27 am
My experiences with Uber have been great. Before you open the door to their vehicle you have a photo of who's driving the car, their tag number, ETA, how far away they are from picking you up and how much it's going to cost. Many drivers use GPS to identify traffic problems along your route, I highly recommend it.
+1
TIPS: I usually add on the required linked credit card, Drivers don't expect a tip but appreciate it
Driver rating 8-10 if taxis are 7
Prompt, responsive, professional always (DC, Tampa, Chicago)
Prefer over taxis now
My n=~20

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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by bob60014 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:54 am

We are UBER converts and love it. Easy to use, never have had a issue with a car OR driver. I always tip in cash. The drivers dont expect it but love it for the obvious reasons, cash in hand and they probably don't report it.

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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by midareff » Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:58 am

We have both Uber and Lyft and use Lyft on the recommendation of a friend as we only started using it a couple of months ago. I use it for trips to the Macular specialist for my eye injections as they dilate as well and I decided I'm not comfortable driving home afterwards. It rarely takes more than three or four minutes to get a car, and the app gives access to each others phone. Credit card on file and the ride is billed after completion with a tip optional. It's fast easy and so far excellent low cost transportation. Better, faster and cheaper than a cab.

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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by yukonjack » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:05 am

I highly recommend both Uber and Lyft. Download both apps and you’ll always have a back. Both far exceed taxis. Using your numbering system I would give taxis a 4 maybe 5 and Uber/Lyft an 8, 9 and sometimes 10. They tend to work more efficiently in large urban areas but you should be fine in the suburbs. You might have to wait a bit longer to be picked up.
The drivers a generally professional and the cars are always clean. The cost even if you tip (optional) is much cheaper than a taxi. The only difficulty I’ve had is getting a ride from some airports. And I believe that has to do with local laws trying to protect taxis. It’s quite nice to not have to pay the bill when you arrive at your destination. No money is exchanged.
When you actually request the car make sure you are ready to go. I’ve had drivers show up in 2 or 3 minutes.

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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by mpsz » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:06 am

Overall it's a good service, but there are some major quirks.

Make sure you are getting in the right car. Usually there is an Uber sticker on the windshield, and I check the license plate and confirm either my or the drivers' name (eg, "Hi, are you Jeff" or "Hi, for Matt").

Uber will raise prices in response to predicted/actual demand and has been caught raising prices when your phone battery is low (you're desperate for a ride before your battery dies). On a business trip, I found that if I left the hotel at 7:29 my ride was half the price compared to leaving at 7:35.

I've noticed that a few drivers (particularly in Connecticut) do expect to be tipped in cash. They are not alerted immediately to in-app tips and you cannot leave a tip until your ride has concluded. I think my rider rating has been dinged (4 vs 5 stars) a few times because of this.

If you are using Uber at the airport, especially being picked up from the airport, pay careful attention to where the app tells you to meet the driver, each time you use the service. It's not always where you would meet a friend or relative. Since Uber is such a new thing, this is changing often and both cities I frequent for work have changed their airport pickup locations in the last year.

I usually use Uber X, and I've had the full range of cars -- from Honda Civics to Tesla Model S.

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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by sauron22333 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:08 am

In my experience Uber is way better than taxi. I used to use taxi a lot but now it is exclusively Uber. Here are some reasons why:
1. App is super easy to use and is very transparent about driver and trip details
2. They take feedback seriously
3. You never need to carry cash
4. You always get a receipt (very important for business travelers like me)
5. Drivers are very interesting people and I’ve had many fascinating conversations
6. You will occasionally ride in great cars. I get an occasional Audi or Cadillac here and there

Overall, my experience with taxis would be 3 on a scale of 10 and with Uber 8 out of 10.

Just last week, I had to get a taxi at Minneapolis airport (didn’t have time to wait for Uber as I was running late for a meeting) and once I reached my destination, the driver started asking for cash saying his cc machine wasn’t working. I did have cash luckily but he didn’t have enough change so despite the horrible service, I ended up paying a tip to this guy. I will absolutely avoid taxis in the future as I have been since I started sing Uber a couple of years ago.

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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by trueson1 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:20 am

Agree with the posts here. Easy to use, better than taxis and much cheaper. Much nicer and cleaner cars.

As said - make sure you get the correct car, check the driver's name on pickup.

I tip a good driver.

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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by JW-Retired » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:22 am

livesoft wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:42 am
Just make sure you get into the right car: The one that you have agreed to use. Check car make/color, driver name, etc.
Yes, and if you are like me and all cars look alike to you, have a note with the licence plate number at the ready. Especially at the airport.
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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by spectec » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:27 am

Have been using Uber off and on for about 2 years now, and I think it's great. I began with a few short trips locally, just to check it out. Now it's always my first choice. I much prefer Uber over taxis, and I always tip the driver. Planning to give Lyft a test in the near future.
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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by stan1 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:28 am

We use Lyft and tip in the app (20%, $5 minimum)

Many drivers work for Lyft and Uber. I'm told by drivers they prefer Lyft because the "people are nicer" (e.g. tip better).

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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by Bacchus01 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:29 am

I travel a lot.

Uber >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Taxi

It's not close.

Cleaner. Faster. Cheaper.

I can usually get a Lux for about 1/2 the Taxi rate and 1/10 the limo rate.

I never tip.

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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by bsteiner » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:32 am

I don't use taxis, Uber or car services very often since I live in the NJ suburbs and have a car, and work in NYC, take the train to work, and walk and take subways and buses in NYC. But occasionally I need a ride to or from the airport, or to or from a train station. I much prefer Uber to taxis or car services. It's less expensive and more reliable, and the cars and drivers are nicer.

If you don't mind sharing the car, you can use Uber Pool, which allows them to pick up or drop off other riders along the way. You get a lower fare, even if they don't pick up anyone else (which sometimes happens).

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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by chuckb84 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:37 am

Uber is great. Seriously great, and much better than taxis. Cleaner, nicer cars, nicer drivers, and once you have the app on your phone, trivial to use.

It's also cheaper than taxis, with one exception: surge pricing. When demand in a particular spot spikes, Uber imposes surge prices. Theoretically, this diverts more cars to that area, but it can be substantially more expensive than regular prices. My kids have complained about this when leaving a concert, etc, at night, and they are among the hundreds/thousands of concert goers who all suddenly want an Uber. Avoid this one issue, and Uber is just fantastic.

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CollegePrudens
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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by CollegePrudens » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:47 am

nisiprius wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:39 am
What are your tips on using Uber? (Speaking of which... what about tips?)
+1 to the suggestion from others on having both the Lyft and Uber apps on your phone.

A quick story:
I took the train home from a conference in San Francisco some months ago. It was late by the time the train arrived at my destination stop. I was tired, it was drizzling and cold. I got off the train to summon an Uber car for the ~3 mile trip home. For some reason the App would not work. The App was the latest version, best I could tell, so I was probably hitting some (rare) bug. After a long day I was getting frustrated by the second.

I had never previously used Lyft. But I knew they existed. I walked to a Starbucks around the corner, got onto wifi, downloaded Lyft, setup my account and ordered a Lyft car. ~20 minutes later I was home.
Last edited by CollegePrudens on Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:56 am, edited 2 times in total.
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CWRadio
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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by CWRadio » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:48 am

Do you need internet access after you are picked up by Uber or Lyft to complete the transaction? I use a Tracfone and usually keep WiFi on and phone data off. Thanks Paul

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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:00 am

My children and wife have used Uber, and they love it. Our children drop the grandkids off to spend the night, then go pub-crawling or to a concert, but they leave their car at our home and Uber everywhere. Afterwards they Uber to their home, then come back the next day to collect their kids and other car. No danger of getting into a wreck, or picking up a DUI. Seem the friends they run with are smart enough not to be partying and driving.

I have zero stats, but I think Uber and Lyft might actually cut down on DUIs. Maybe the ease of getting a ride, and the cost being reasonable leads some people to not take foolish risks by drinking and driving.

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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by GeraniumLover » Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:07 am

I've only had great experiences with Uber. I also recommend Lyft and Fasten. Fasten is HQ'd in Boston and is the only one of the three available in Austin.

Only issue I ever had was trying to get a car that would fit my skis in it. There is no way I could find to make a special request like that. So I would hail a ride and then text the driver if they could fit skis. If they couldn't they'd just drop the ride and I would try again.

I love that there is no cash exchanged and no discussion of money with the driver. All is done via credit card and the app.

runner3081
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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by runner3081 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:25 pm

As other have mentioned as well, Uber used to be great, but now I find myself using Lyft the majority of the time.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by DaftInvestor » Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:45 pm

I've used Uber since almost the beginning. I started using Lyft about 3 years ago.
I travel a lot on business so frequent many of the US's largest (and some small-ish) cities.
Problems I've had with Taxis over the years:
- Try to take you on a longer route (Las Vegas this is especially bad)
- Try to tell you their credit card machine is broken to get you to pay cash
- Try to tell you their AC is broken because they don't want to turn it on.
- In some cities (like NYC) they will deny you service once they find out you are going to the airport. I've seen them drive off quickly as soon as they notice I have a suitcase.
- I've noticed odoriferous drivers or smells in the car

I've had none of the above problems with either Uber nor with Lyft. Plus - they are Cheaper (unless for surge-pricing situations).
The reasons I prefer Lyft over Uber:
1) Their App is better. If I start typing a hotel name - place pops up - with Uber I sometimes need to resort to address.
2) Lyft has a clear tip policy and it can be easily added at the end of the ride on a ride per ride basis. Uber keeps changing their policy and you will get different stories from different drivers (and it has changed over time)
3) The Lyft app seems more accurate. If Lyft says I will have someone in 5 minutes it is usually only off by a couple of minutes. With Uber I've had 5 minutes turn into 15 minutes.
4) I've had Uber drivers cancel on me. Their is nothing more frustrating than waiting 10 minutes and suddenly have the App start searching for a new driver. Perhaps this is circumstance but its never happened to me with Lyft. I have a 4.97 rating on Uber so its not like they see I'm a bad passenger or something. No idea why drivers suddenly change their mind and cancel a pickup.

With both Uber and Lyft I can't say I've ever had a bad driver. Similar to taxis some drivers are more aggressive than others (and occasionally I have gotten one that is painfully too-slow/cautious) - but I've never had anything crazy. I have had a few really crazy taxi rides in my life though (I had one taxi driver who warned me ahead of time "We might get a lot of people beeping at us - I hope you are okay with that").

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by DaftInvestor » Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:50 pm

I should have added:
My recommendation is to have BOTH Lyft and Uber apps on your phone. If one has surge pricing or the wait is too long you can try the other.
I usually start with Lyft first now. I know others that hit both almost simultaneously to see which will come faster (although I don't believe this works as Uber's times are sometimes off).

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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by freebeer » Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:55 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:50 pm
I should have added:
My recommendation is to have BOTH Lyft and Uber apps on your phone. If one has surge pricing or the wait is too long you can try the other.
I usually start with Lyft first now. I know others that hit both almost simultaneously to see which will come faster (although I don't believe this works as Uber's times are sometimes off).
+1 to having both as backup. In my home base (Seattle) Uber has far more volume hence far more drivers and I rarely hit surge pricing so t's not usually worth it to me to try Lyft but other areas different. And in the rare cases of a major surge nice to have options.

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Artful Dodger
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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by Artful Dodger » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:10 pm

I think someone above said only do UberX. I've done the pool cars several times with no problems, and sometimes with a significant savings. Most of the time, you are the only fare. Other than that, I echo the other positive remarks. I've used in many major USA cities plus Paris and London, just recently.

I had one problem a couple of years ago in Charleston. When you put in your destination, it gives you an estimate of the cost to arrive there. When we were picked up, I don't think the driver knew all the ins and outs of the area, and the trip took longer than we thought. When the final bill came through it was double the estimate. I sent an email to Uber customer service, and got a refund in less than 60 minutes, so very happy about that.

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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:11 pm

My impression of riding in an Uber:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOpRXbwFry4

I've only used taxis. I live just outside of the middle of nowhere.
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goingup
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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by goingup » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:48 pm

Nisi-
It's easy, safe, and so convenient. Download the app and order up a ride! I tip a couple bucks if it's a 15 minute ride or more. If it was a 5-10 minute ride, I might not. It's not necessary to tip.

I suspect you'll enjoy it. :happy

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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by WL2034 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:51 pm

I prefer Lyft for better background checks and fewer problems in the past. I think they treat the drivers better, overall (from speaking to drivers who work for both--many of them do).

Just make sure you know the make/model of the car that is picking you up. When the car arrives, open the door and say the driver's name--make sure they say, "Yes, that's me." Or even better, they will say your name to make sure you are their correct fare. Then you are good to go.

mouses
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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by mouses » Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:08 pm

What's going on with these cautions to get the correct car? What is happening that wrong cars show up?

I wish these things did not require smart phones.

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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by smackboy1 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:49 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:39 am
What are your tips on using Uber? (Speaking of which... what about tips?)

My experience in using taxis is that only once in my whole life have I ever been seriously uncomfortable with a driver (he was drunk). How often have you personally been seriously uncomfortable with Uber?

What would you say about the "professionalism" of Uber drivers? Let's say taxi drivers in general are 7 on a scale of 1-10 where...

How do you feel about Uber's "reliability" particularly with respect to availability, how arrival time compares with taxis, how well arrival times match promises and estimates?

I live in a suburban town--sprawling area of continuous suburb as it were--population 40,000. There are no longer any taxis companies whose taxis are actually stationed in my town, and typical calls during "normal" times will promise arrival in 15 to 30 minutes and often be five minutes late. My need for Uber includes things like 10-15 mile trips when my wife needs the car, or occasional 5-mile trips in the nearby Big City when the weather is bad and the public transportation options are bad.
Uber and Lyft and other ride hailing apps have more in common with limo car service than with taxis. With Uber you contract with a driver to pick you up and drive you to your destination. The wait for a car could be short or long depending on availability. It's usually accurate, but sometimes delays happen. The rate is stated before you commit to calling the car. Payment is cashless and done automatically with credit card in the background so you at the end of the ride you just hop out and walk away. The exception is UberTaxi which just uses the app to hail a traditional taxi.

With taxis you have to successfully flag one down and payment is usually cash or can be credit, but must be manually done at the end of the ride. If taxis are in abundant supply, it can be faster to just jump in a cab and just go. But if not, rather than wait in rain in the taxi line, calling an Uber can be the better strategy.

Uber is quicker, more efficient and cheaper than traditional car service like Royal Coachman, but it is not as reliable in certain situations. Availability is based on supply and demand at the time you call for a ride. If time is a factor and somebody else is footing the bill, we use car service. We have used Uber for personal airport rides, but we always build in a time cushion. For early AM rides, we always have an alternate means of transport in case no Uber drivers respond.

Uber ratings go both ways. Passengers rate drivers and drivers rate passengers. For a driver, anything less than 100% perfect 5 stars is considered failure. Drivers with 4.6 stars don't get assigned passengers. It's purgatory for drivers. So drivers do everything possible make passengers happy: good friendly efficient service and clean comfortable cars. Passengers can also tip drivers. Drivers also rate passengers, so unruly drunk passengers are blacklisted. Unlike taxis, I've never had a bad experience using a ride hailing app - not even a mediocre experience.

I would recommend passengers do not steal from the Uber driver's tip jar LOL!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGevM41VyL4
Disclaimer: nothing written here should be taken as legal advice, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:54 pm

I just signed up and used it this year for the first time. Nice driver and cheaper than taxi. I used taxi from the airport Home and Uber from home to the airport. I didn’t sign up for pushing info so I didn’t know if it was the right driver from the airport and that’s the reason that I used taxi on the way home. I might use it more overseas.

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Elsebet
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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by Elsebet » Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:14 pm

I used Uber for the first time when I went on a business trip to Vegas and didn't want to bother with a car. Fell in love with the service from the first trip! The only issue I had was not knowing where the pick-up spot was for Uber at the Vegas airport but that was just due to inexperience. If you are taking Uber from the airport I'd advise finding the pick-up spot first then requesting a ride so you don't make the driver wait like I did (I tipped him big time for that).

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Kalo
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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by Kalo » Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:20 pm

I have some questions:

Does PayPal charge a fee for filling your account via credit card. I thought they did.

Any reason not to use my credit card with Uber or Lyft (use PayPal instead)?

Silly question, but if you were to be both a driver and customer, do you use the same app? Or are there separate apps for drivers and riders?

If I wanted to try driving, do I need extra auto insurance? I have high liability limits and an umbrella. Probably would want to ask my insurance company but I have a feeling they would say yes you need a rider. Doesn't Uber/and Lyft carry insurance? Does anyone question the insurance levels as a rider (customer)?

Thanks,

Kalo
"When people say they have a high risk tolerance, what they really mean is that they are willing to make a lot of money." -- Ben Stein/Phil DeMuth - The Little Book of Bullet Proof Investing.

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Artful Dodger
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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by Artful Dodger » Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:53 pm

Kalo wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:20 pm
I have some questions:

Does PayPal charge a fee for filling your account via credit card. I thought they did.

Any reason not to use my credit card with Uber or Lyft (use PayPal instead)?

Silly question, but if you were to be both a driver and customer, do you use the same app? Or are there separate apps for drivers and riders?

If I wanted to try driving, do I need extra auto insurance? I have high liability limits and an umbrella. Probably would want to ask my insurance company but I have a feeling they would say yes you need a rider. Doesn't Uber/and Lyft carry insurance? Does anyone question the insurance levels as a rider (customer)?

Thanks,

Kalo
You don't have to use Paypal. I just use a credit card.

The driver has a different app.

I would contact them directly about driving. I'm sure they have a number of requirements. I expect they have a company minimum insurance requirement, but I know some localities impose minimum insurance requirements as well.

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Kalo
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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by Kalo » Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:10 pm

Thanks Artful Dodger. That makes sense.

Kalo
"When people say they have a high risk tolerance, what they really mean is that they are willing to make a lot of money." -- Ben Stein/Phil DeMuth - The Little Book of Bullet Proof Investing.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:15 pm

smackboy1 wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:49 pm
With taxis you have to successfully flag one down and payment is usually cash or can be credit, but must be manually done at the end of the ride.
The first part is certainly not the case here. The cab services have phone numbers, web sites, and apps that you can use for setting up rides. I'm not sure if the app allows you to prepay, so you might be right on the second part. It's not a big deal to me, I pay with credit card and it just takes a few seconds.
This week's fortune cookie: "You will do well to expand your horizons." Ow. Passive-aggressive and vaguely ominous.

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jeff1949
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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by jeff1949 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:33 pm

I'm planning on using Uber for the first time ever on Dec. 3rd (a Sunday) at LAX. We need a ride from LAX to the Cruise Port at San Pedro. If anyone has experience with that please let me know. I'm a little nervous as the plane arrives at 12:30 pm and the ship leaves at 4 pm on that day.
Last edited by jeff1949 on Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kjvmartin
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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by kjvmartin » Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:34 pm

Former Lyft driver's perspective...

I drove a bit after our children when my wife was on family leave to help make ends meet. Unless they have changed things, please remember this:

Anything less than a perfect rating (5 star) is telling the company you think the driver should be fired. Four out of five is a failure. Most people think a 4 star review is pretty generous, but please take note of this information

From the Lyft website:

"Anything more than 4.8 is awesome. If your rating drops below 4.8, you may want to consider ways to improve it. Consistently low ratings can put you at risk of deactivation. Your summaries' flags and feedback are a good indicator of where to improve."

I voluntarily stopped driving after a few not so fun nights. I refused to cram a dirty mountain bike in the back of my four door sedan and the person flipped out and rated me 1 star. She was leaving a bike pub crawl and pretty inebriated. Another night, I took four large men into the vehicle who pulled out alcoholic beverages after I got on the highway then got mad at me when I pulled over. I feared a fight might break out. Too much risk there. An open intoxicant charge would end my LE career and I started thinking about what other illicit behavior someone might use me for as Lyft driver.

dowse
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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by dowse » Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:38 pm

I love the concept of Uber. I hate that the company is getting such a hard time in some cities due to an entrenched local taxi lobby. This is the free market at it's best. A superior service to taxis in almost every way, except that in some cases, the fare will be higher than a taxi. More often than not, though, it is cheaper. The cars are usually nicer and smell better, the drivers are usually nicer and also smell better. I have taken taxis that supposedly take credit cards only to be told at the end of the ride that the card scanner is "broken", and I must come up with cash. Others have pointed out that it is very important to know in advance where the pickup point is if being picked up at an airport. There are often strict rules about that. Also, others have pointed out that in some locations, particularly airports, there is an Uber pool option that saves money. Sometimes you can even get lucky and wind up in a "pool" of one paying the pool rate. You should know that just as riders can rate drivers, drivers can also rate riders. Riders with low ratings might have a hard time getting and Uber ride. Now that Uber has added a tipping option, guess what is likely to get you a higher rider rating.

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whatusername?
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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by whatusername? » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:26 pm

Most of the Uber cars I've ridden in have been in much better condition than the taxis I've taken. The drivers tend to be very professional - I have only ever had one that was questionable in that regard (about the time he started cursing the border patrol guard, I thought he might be a bit crazy). That said, I have never been uncomfortable with a driver. All of this has been pretty much universally true in the countries I've used Uber, which is mostly U.S. but some in Canada, Europe and South America too. It tends to be easier, cheaper and faster as calling or hailing taxi cabs.

As far as reliability, once you request an Uber, you can see your assigned car on a GPS map and it gives you an estimate of the time to pickup. I usually receive a call from the driver a couple minutes ahead of time so that we can exchange information about my precise location/how to identify me. I have almost - but not quite - gotten into someone else's Uber at a crowded airport. That's about as dramatic as it has been. I've never been left stranded, even late.

oxothuk
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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by oxothuk » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:50 pm

One small advantage of taxis overUber was the ability to schedule a pickup in advance. But I got an email just this week announcing that Uber is adding that feature.

I hate the entire practice of tipping and thus prefer Uber over Lyft. I don’t mind compensating drivers fairly, but just show me the real full price and let me decide if it’s worth it.

Once you try Uber or Lyft ther is no going back to taxis -taxis are SOOO twentieth-century.

J295
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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by J295 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:51 pm

Use Uber and Lyft a lot. Never a problem. Very reliable.

As it happens, I like to read when riding somewhere. So, when the driver arrives I introduce myself and explain that I hope they have a great day and my practice is to read while riding so they don't need to feel obligated to entertain me (they get the message and just drive).

I usually tip a couple of dollars on a $12 fare.

A bit random .... but I'm retired and my spouse works in real estate, so we downsized to one nice vehicle and just take uber/lyft when there is some sort of transportation conflict. Much cheaper for us than buying a second car (and insurance, maintenance, etc.). You can take a lot of rides for the "true cost" of a nice new vehicle.

30 year old son gets around fine with Uber/Lyft, and hasn't owned a car in the last 12 years (living in large Metropolitan areas).

mouses
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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by mouses » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:04 am

kjvmartin wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:34 pm
Former Lyft driver's perspective...

I drove a bit after our children when my wife was on family leave to help make ends meet. Unless they have changed things, please remember this:

Anything less than a perfect rating (5 star) is telling the company you think the driver should be fired. Four out of five is a failure. Most people think a 4 star review is pretty generous, but please take note of this information

From the Lyft website:

"Anything more than 4.8 is awesome. If your rating drops below 4.8, you may want to consider ways to improve it. Consistently low ratings can put you at risk of deactivation. Your summaries' flags and feedback are a good indicator of where to improve."

I voluntarily stopped driving after a few not so fun nights. I refused to cram a dirty mountain bike in the back of my four door sedan and the person flipped out and rated me 1 star. She was leaving a bike pub crawl and pretty inebriated. Another night, I took four large men into the vehicle who pulled out alcoholic beverages after I got on the highway then got mad at me when I pulled over. I feared a fight might break out. Too much risk there. An open intoxicant charge would end my LE career and I started thinking about what other illicit behavior someone might use me for as Lyft driver.
Perhaps drivers could avoid that by not working past a certain time at night.

I have run into that star problem when writing reviews on amazon. I think a 4 star rating is pretty good. I give a 5 star ratings only to books I could reread forever. I had an author contact me once to complain that a 4 star rating was dirt.

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Reb Tevye
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Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

Post by Reb Tevye » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:07 am

Both Uber and Lyft are extremely convenient.

To me the big advantages are knowing the exact arrival time, seeing the car on it's way to you on your smart phone map, and in some complicated place being able to directly call the driver to coordinate/explain the pick up. 90% of cars are extremely clean.

I started using Uber, then switched to Lyft for ethical and moral reasons. Many or most drivers in my city drive for both, or are now former Uber drivers.

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/03/03/t ... ities.html

I would recommend everyone at least have the app on their phone and know how to use it in case of a travel emergency or breakdown.
"So, what would have been so terrible if I had a small fortune?"

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