If you have been to any special event in Atlanta over the last six months, you’ve probably heard of Uber, the driver service that allows users to request rides via smart phone app. The idea of Uber is super, just pull up the Uber app on your iPhone or Android phone. Your GPS locates you and tells you approximately how far away the nearest driver is. You can then select to have a car (choose from compact, black car or SUV) come get you, which seems to be about a ten minute wait. You cannot pre-book an Uber driver this time.
Since I live OTP, it has never made economical sense for me to use Uber. I’d be better of getting a cheap hotel room in town then paying the fee to be diven back to Mayretta. However, I happened to be staying downtown so thought I’d try it out. At the time of this post, first time users get a $40 credit.
I was staying at the Ritz-Carlton downtown and was having dinner at the Optimist. I mapquested the distance ahead of time – 2.65 miles door to door. Getting the car was easy and simple. Once you request the car, you receive a text confirmation. The Uber driver seemed to know the route to the restaurant from the hotel but then drove right past it. I had to tell him he missed it and he turned around in the street. Cost: $18.
After an Uber ride is complete you get a receipt via your mobile app. No cash changes hands ever as you tie in a credit card to your app, which is charged when the ride is complete. Tipping is included in the price as well, which is pretty convenient.
Black car vs. ugly Cab
No cash transactions
Ease of use to get car
The drive back to the hotel was awful. Our Uber driver either wasn’t at all familiar with ATL or “taking us for a ride” so to speak. He turned on his GPS which was very loud – not sure why he wouldn’t have had it on silent. However, my dinner date and I weren’t sure which was worse, the loud GPS or the horrible music we were subjected to. It was Sunday night after 9 pm with no traffic. We were going a total of 2.40 miles. It took us 18 minutes and the driver took a longer route which ended up being 3.3 miles. Cost: $25.
The difference in cost for both Uber rides is nearly a 30% increase in price – quite a difference. Had I paid for this out of pocket (the credit covered all but $3) I would have been pretty disappointed with the high cost and huge differences between the two rides.
All in all, I think the idea of Uber is fantastic, however they need to work on getting drivers that are more familiar with our city.