Uber the app that virtually hails you a ride

-1When traveling for business, sometimes the most painful part of the journey is from the airport to my meeting or hotel. Depending on many factors like, location and time, the availability of taxi’s can be scarce and the lack of a ride can really get in the way of business. In comes Uber… Uber is an app available for iPhone, Android and moblie browsers. Uber has made an alliance with taxi’s and towncar drivers and given them an app that alerts them when an uber customer needs a ride. Using the location awareness of your smartphone Uber links the nearest driver to you and once you accept the ride the rest is seamless. In a few minutes your car arrives, if its not a taxi, the make and model is avalaibe to you in the app along with the drivers name. If for some reason he can’t find you (even though you and he are on the app’s moving map that you both can see) a button in the app initiates a call to the driver and while keeping your number (and his) private, allows you to let him know where you are, verbally.  I’ve used this app over a dozen times in both the US and Canada and I absolutely love it. The best part is the payment process. How many times have you been in a foreign city and when you get into your cab you ask the driver if he takes Amex. He invariably says yes, you get in and when you get to your hotel, it turns out he really doesn’t take Amex or the card reader doesn’t work – and you don’t have enough cash to pay the fare. Your only recourse it to find an ATM and pay cash and deal with expensing the whole transaction later( if he can find a receipt to give you). With Uber, when the ride is over you just get out of the car, that’s all. The whole transaction is debited from the card you have on file.  Shortly after the ride is over an email is sent to your account, with where you started, where you ended, how long it took and how much it cost and a pretty map of your journey.  You can use this email when claiming expenses and tracking business travel. In reality, Uber is slightly more expensive than taking a regular cab. On routes that I travel frequently by cab, I’ve calculated that it’s roughly 5% more than a typical cab ride (including a tip). However, the time savings and hassel free payment system easily makes up for this premium. Next time you are in need of a cab try Uber, I think you will like it.

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