Saturday, June 11, 2016

Uber is uber easy!

So one of the things I have learned this week is Uber is uber easy and cheap! Instead for walking miles or even trying to navigate the Metro, just call an Uber.  The Uber drivers are very nice and most of them, this is their main job.

While Taxi service is plentiful in the D.C. Metro area, the Metro rails are not well covered yet, and the price difference between them are huge. Riding the Metro during the day cost on average of just a few dollars.  However the taxi service is ridiculous in price and is very expensive. There is another option, and that is the Super Shuttle, prices are cheaper than taxi and can be higher than Uber, depending on trip.  The Super Shuttle will only pick up or drop off at an airport.

I was staying in DC a mile away from a conference that I was attending. I was advised by the hotel staff that walking was not a good idea due to the location of the hotel (which I soon found out later that night).  So my options were Taxi, Uber, or Metro which included a ¼ mile walk in the opposite direction and then an additional ¼ at the other end.  Metro would have been the cheapest at just $1, but with the walk and my bag, it was not suitable for my needs.  A taxi was almost $10 to go just a mile away.  The taxis are plentiful as they are sitting on literally every corner waiting for passengers.  I decided to go with Uber for the first time and it was a choice that I would not regret.  The ride cost $5.40, this broke out into fees and other charges.  Base Fare of $1.15 (this is the charge you pay just ordering an uber. Distance of 1.24 miles equates to a $1.32 charge. They do also charge for time, so if there are delays or rush hour traffic you will get charged more.  I was charged $1.43 for eight and a half minutes of travel time.  There is also a $1.35 booking fee, also charged when ordering an Uber as well as a percentage tax for the D.C. Taxi Tax, I paid 5¢.

Some things to look out for with Uber are the different types of service they offer.  They get more and more expensive as you go up in options.  If there are shortages of Uber driver in your area or there is a surge of people requesting Uber in your area, then Uber may charge you a “Uber Surge” charge.  This can be 1.3 times to 2.1 times the normal rate. You can either wait a few minutes to see the surge rate go down or pay the fee. Also you do NOT need to tip, Uber actually says that tips are not required and drivers are getting a great fare rate.  Uber keeps 20% of the fare and the driver keeps 80% of the fare. You can end up waiting a few minutes while the driver in on their way to pick you up.  There are times where the driver my be dropping off a passenger near by so the wait may be a extra minute.  You are able to cancel the ride within the first 2 minutes for free,  after that you be charged the booking fee if you cancel.i

Some of the types of Uber service are: Uber Pool is the cheapest by sharing the ride with an other person that is going to the same direction you are.  The base rate and calculated rates are about have the rate of the next level up called UberX.  UberX is usually an economy or mid-sized car and usually can carry 3 people. You are the only riders during your fare. The next level up is UberXL, this is usually a Mid-sized SUV or a minivan. Thy offer more room and can carry up to 6 people generally. They do cost a bit more than an UberX, but generally not that much more.  If you want luxury, then UberBLack or UberSUV are the options for you.  The service can run 2-4 times more than an UberX, so just be mindful.

Just as a friendly reminder, these Uber drivers are using their own vehicles, so don’t drink or eat food in their vehicles.  Please be kind and remember to rate the driver in the app after the trip.