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Uber conclusion after first time using it, it's awesome

Uber screen shot

I signed up for Uber yesterday. My friend stopped me in the middle of registering and said, wait, let me give you a referral code so we both get $10 credit.  My impressions after using it for 3 times?  It's awesome.

Here's why:  The real time location of the car service which tells you how far away the nearest car is amazes.  You can see the cars move around on the screen and you can change the pickup pin which is accurate within feet. Once you ask for a pickup, it sends you a picture of your driver.  There is a slider so you can choose between UberX, a taxi like service, a black car service, and an SUV.   There's no dispatcher.  No verbal communication saying where you are exactly or telephone-game like guessing at the exact spot or worrying about how far the car is, you always know exactly where it is.

I surveyed all three drivers.  All of them were extremely happy with the service and had just started.  One was a nursing student who works part time. The other two drive full time.  The first car was a prius.  The car was clean.  The guy was extremely friendly.  He even stocked the car with water and hand sanitizer.  After the drive, there's no cash, no running meters, just a really fair, flat fee (that I believe includes a tip).  You just say your thank you's and walk away.  It's all taken care of and paid for through the app.  No cash, no sitting around waiting for square or the crappy credit card processing, nor the cabbies who want all your available travel cash instead.  

I'm not sure what vetting process they use for drivers and cars, but the cars all had a little smart phone device that I assume they use for navigation, tracking, and payments.  All the drivers were extremely friendly, all the cars new and clean.  If you my shared code i7mt9, you get $10 off your first ride and I get the credit for sharing.   I can't see using any taxi or driver service ever again. 

In fact, when I was in New York the week before, I was able to talk to a few taxi drivers.  They say that the taxi medallion service is so expensive that individuals can't afford to own one. They end up leasing one month to month which puts them at a huge "indentured servitude" for most of the month until they break even.  On top of that, they either lease a car from the taxi service or lease it themselves.   My one driver said that once he gets off of work and heads home to Staten Island from Manhattan, he has to lock all his doors because if someone jumps in his cab at a stoplight and he tells them he can't turn around and go all the way back uptown, they will report him and he will get fined, wiping out the whole month's profit.  Also, the city charges a driver licensing tax/fee.  The several hundred dollars per month they raised it is the difference between him making a profit that month or writing off the month as a loss.  A couple hundred bucks might not seem like much to the NYC government who wastes money like Washington, but to him, it was being able to live and feed his family.  He said there had to be a better way.

It's no surprise with such a corrupt taxi system in most of the major cities that some clever company has found a majorly disruptive and clever way: Uber.  

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The more Uber disrupts the taxi system, the more Uber becomes like the taxi system.

That said, I know several people who swear by Uber instead of swearing at it.

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