What is UBER? 1/3
Uber is a ride sharing network that launched in 2012. It was built to circumvent the expensive and substandard service of monopoly cab companies. Uber revolves around unlicensed/non-taxicab drivers providing taxi-like services but using newer personal vehicles instead of decrepit old yellow rustbuckets.
Instead of radio dispatch and local offices, Uber uses smartphone connectivity that dispatches rides, tracks fares, bills customers, and pays the drivers. Uber is run entirely as a virtual company, with its drivers being outsourced contractors.
Amateur and professional drivers around the world join Uber by passing through online screening and offering the use of their personal vehicles. Uber drivers are not required to pay the exorbitant licensing fees and meet the rigorous controls of municipal taxi cab providers.
Uber has met regulatory roadblocks in many places. Uber is banned in Spain and Italy but is legal in Canada, the USA, and parts of Europe and Asia.
How the Uber Experience Works
The Uber Process:
- Install the app on your smartphone and create an online Uber account. Your credit card will be attached to your account, so you never need to handle any cash.
- When you need a ride, use the app to tell Uber your pickup location. Your phone GPS can help you with this. There are also text message and mobile website alternatives to using the app.
- Uber will text you to confirm how many minutes you will wait. Rides are commonly 3 to 10 minutes away in major centers.
- Uber will then text you when the ride has arrived. The Uber app will also show you details of the driver, his/her name and photo, and the type of car he/she drives.
- Take the ride, optionally sharing with any other Uber users who can split the fare electronically with you.
- Payment is handled invisibly, with no tip required. You just step out of the car at the end and wave thank you.
- After your ride, you rate the driver on a scale of 1 to 5 (politeness, safety, cleanliness). Similarly, the driver rates you from 1 to 5 (politeness).
That’s it. The Uber experience is designed to be very simple and convenient, but with the attentiveness of tracking and customer feedback.