Views 76 | Time to read: 2 minutes | Uploaded: 11 - 11 - 2014 | By: Ashley Childress
After spending most of last year in New York City, I am well acquainted with the struggle of hailing a cab. In fact, as an East Coast native from the outskirts of Philadelphia, I’ve practically grown up in taxicabs. It’s never fun to stand on corners with an outstretched arm in the freezing cold with a heavy backpack in tow, or to stand out in the cold clinging to friends for warmth, awaiting a questionable ride after a night on the town.
I’ve been ripped-off by drivers taking the long way around, feigning broken English when I try to give directions. I’ve been catcalled by drivers after exiting cabs, and even more frighteningly, I was bitten, yes bitten, by a drug dealer I was forced to share a cab with (don’t ask).
Given my unfortunate yet entirely necessary history with cabs, I am excited about the prospect of a new progressive system: Uber. Although admittedly I was skeptical at first, I have come to realize that Uber is an exceptional concept. The Uber app allows users to secure a ride virtually, based on location. At the click of a button, the user requests a ride, an Uber driver accepts, and an estimated price and time of arrival is displayed on the user’s smartphone. This system is fabulous for more reasons than one.
Uber eliminates the stress of wondering how long it will take to get a cab or how far you’ll have to walk to find one. No more fighting strangers to get the only cab in sight. (After all, you were totally there first!)
Once a driver accepts your request, the ride is yours. Moreover, Uber highlights the shortest route to your destination and provides an estimate of fare. No more rip-offs! Uber also features secure virtual payment and even splitting of fares for rides with multiple passengers; no math, no problem!
Uber exists in 45 countries worldwide and is available right here in Santa Barbara. Drivers undergo the highest level of background and driving record checks permissible by the state. Vehicles are safe and end-to-end insured so that the passenger can ride anxiety-free.
For a vast majority of people, using taxi services is an unavoidable fact of life. It is extremely encouraging to see safer, more reliable services such as Uber becoming available. I am excited to try Uber both right here in Santa Barbara and back home in Philadelphia and New York. Peace of mind at last!