Uber Cool Way to Get Around Town: Tip-of-the-Day #262

This week I had a sales meeting at the Hyatt Regency downtown and it was scheduled for three days. Parking at the Hyatt is prohibitively expensive and so a colleague mentioned she'd be using Uber - an app for your iPhone or Android that connects drivers with people who need rides. When I explained the concept to my sister, she said "Oh. You mean, gypsy cabs?" Seems that's what it was called when she lived in New York before the dot com boom. Whatever it's called (and there are a few competing players in the space now; Lyft, Uber and SideCar to name a few) it's the best invention since..er, taxis.

But, here's why my experience with Uber was so darn good. For one, I live out in the "avenues" of San Francisco. There aren't taxis in my neck of the woods - especially in the early a.m. or late at night. Uber gave me the option of searching for a taxi, what they call UberX (an average Joe like you or me most likely rocking a hybrid), a black car or an SUV. On Monday morning the only available service was a black car. It sounded expensive, so I quickly requested a fare quote to get a sense of what it would run me. $34 from the avenues to the fidi. Not bad considering that it included gratuity and surcharges. I accepted the fare and requested the service. The car showed up in 6 mins flat. Best yet, I could actually watch its progression on the app, from where it had started to where I live. (Yes, a little car icon moves across your screen in real time). And, upon arrival, I was texted that my car had arrived.

I went ahead and used Uber for the next three days and after trying UberX (just as speedy and nearly half the cost) I never looked back.

Affordable, convenient and friendly technology. Loved the experience and highly recommend it in place of a. parking downtown b. taking a cab (long wait and inflated pricing with a side of guilt when tipping comes up c. public transport (not suitable for my needs when I'm time constrained).

Thanks, Uber! (Treat: Use code T9r18 to get $10 off your first ride).