Uber is one of the big names in the new field of peer-to-peer ride-sharing. With an easy-to-use app and huge coverage areas, Uber allows anyone to get a ride at anytime with a few clicks on a smartphone. Founded in March 2009, Uber has grown to offer services throughout the United States and in 57 countries worldwide, helping to change the way we view ride-sharing. It also has fed the craving for customized service that is so prevalent today. Below, we look at some of the main concerns about Uber’s ride-sharing services, including price, speed, safety, and user-friendliness.

The Good

Uber is undoubtedly one of the most widespread ride-sharing services, meaning that users can rely on Uber in more locations than other services. Uber is available in 58 countries and in North America, Uber is available in 176 cities. Additionally, Uber has high usability and customizability, meaning that the app is easy to use, and that riders have more control. For example, for a higher cost, riders can arrive to their destination in a luxury vehicle, or, for a lower cost, riders can ride with a friend and split their fare. Uber drivers generally use their own cars for pick-up, but users have control over size and quality. Riders can request a taxi, uberX car (budget-friendly option), black car, SUV, or luxury vehicle.

While prices fluctuate by location, time, and car preference, Uber always allows you to get price estimates before you commit to your trip. These estimates are based on the expected time and distance of your ride. Tipping is also available through the app, but there is no required tipping fee. On average, the cost to use a basic Uber car (UberX) is as follows:

  • Cost per mile of $1.48
  • Min. Ride fee of $1.70
  • Safe Rides Fee of $1.00
  • Cancellation fee of $10

Uber is designed for usability. Since reservations, ride information, payment, and reviews are all in the app, riders have a hassle-free experience. Additionally, the app now offers a “Split Fare” option, making riding with others easy. To use Uber, download their app on your device and register. After registration, simply open the app and enter in your destination to request a ride. Users can also choose their preferred driver and car. When a driver arrives, users will get a notification on their device. After the ride, pay in-app and review the experience.

On average, Uber riders wait 4 minutes and 16 seconds for their driver to pick them up. When reserving a ride, users receive an Estimated Time of Arrival for their convenience. Uber has a reasonable wait time (an average of about four minutes) and all payment, driver rating, etc. is available through the app. With such convenience, it’s no wonder more and more people are choosing Uber over traditional taxicab services.

The Bad

Of course, with the good comes some bad. Uber is notorious for their surge pricing, which raises the fare for rides at certain times of the day or during periods of high demand. While this is good for Uber drivers, who are independent contractors, it can be inconvenient for riders looking for a cheap lift.

There have been riders who have complained about their driver and their qualifications. It is also importantt o remember that users have the ability to rate and view the ratings of their Uber drivers. As of Spring 2016, all Uber drivers were independent contractors. As such, each Uber driver was screened to ensure:

  • No DUI or other drug related driving violations or severe infractions
  • No history of reckless driving
  • No fatal accidents
  • No sexual offenses
  • No violent crimes
  • No hit and runs
  • No resisting or evading arrest
  • No gun related violations
  • No driving without insurance or suspended license charge in the past 3 years

During the screening process, the following tools were used:

  • National Sex Offender Registry screen
  • Social Security Trace (a lifetime-long record)
  • County courthouse records going back 7 years for every county of residence
  • Federal courthouse records going back 7 years
  • Multi-State Criminal Database going back 7 years
  • Motor Vehicle Records (past and present)

The Bottom Line

Uber has fast pick-up times, cheap rates, and widespread coverage, which is likely why it has become one of the big names in the ridesharing industry. We also understand that Uber is one of the best options for those who want an alternative to pricey and inconvenient cab services because of its widespread availability and customizable experience. Those that use Uber to get a ride around town can expect the following from the service:

  1. Low fares, especially compared to taxis
  2. Ability to request car models/types
  3. Relatively short wait time
  4. Strict requirements for drivers
  5. Review and rating system

Availability

Uber is available in 58 countries. In North America, Uber is available in 176 cities

Price

While prices fluctuate by location, time, and car preference, Uber always allows you to get price estimates before you commit to your trip. These estimates are based on the expected time and distance of your ride.

Tipping is available through the app, but there is no required tipping fee.

In Los Angeles, the cost to use a basic Uber car (UberX) is as follows:

  • Cost per mile of $0.90
  • Cost per minute of $.18
  • Safe Rides Fee of $1.00
  • No base charge in L.A.

Professionalism

As of Spring 2015, all Uber drivers were independent contractors. As such, each Uber driver was screened to ensure:

  • No DUI or other drug related driving violations or severe infractions
  • No history of reckless driving
  • No fatal accidents
  • No sexual offenses
  • No violent crimes
  • No hit and runs
  • No resisting or evading arrest
  • No gun related violations
  • No driving without insurance or suspended license charge in the past 3 years

During the screening process, the following tools were used:

  • National Sex Offender Registry screen
  • Social Security Trace (a lifetime-long record)
  • County courthouse records going back 7 years for every county of residence
  • Federal courthouse records going back 7 years
  • Multi-State Criminal Database going back 7 years
  • Motor Vehicle Records (past and present)

In addition, users have the ability to rate and view the ratings of their Uber drivers.

Wait Time

On average, Uber riders wait 4 minutes and 16 seconds for their driver to pick them up. When reserving a ride, users receive an Estimated Time of Arrival for their convenience.

Usability

Uber is designed for usability. Since reservations, ride information, payment, and reviews are all in the app, riders have a hassle-free experience. Additionally, the app now offers a “Split Fare” option, making riding with others easy.

To use Uber, download their app on your device and register. After registration, simply open the app and enter in your destination to request a ride. Users can also choose their preferred driver and car. When a driver arrives, users will get a notification on their device.

After the ride, pay in-app and review the experience.

Car Options

Uber drivers generally use their own cars for pick-up, but users have control over size and quality. Riders can request a taxi, uberX car (budget-friendly option), black car, SUV, or luxury vehicle.

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    10

    October 27th, 2015 Pleasant Grove, UT

    I had a great experience with Uber. Last Spring my wife and I traveled to Europe. For the last two days of the trip we were in Amsterdam without a rental car. I had heard about Uber and decided now would be the perfect time to test it. Everything worked great. The drivers all spoke English and were very kind.

    The app is amazing! It shows in real time how close the driver is so you know exactly when they will arrive. It has you submit your credit card information when you launch the app. This makes payment seamless. Once the ride is over, it automatically pays the driver for you. The app also makes the drivers very competitive. The higher their score (rated by customers) the more likely people will use them. Because of this, we had drivers offer us water, help with everything, etc… It was super fun!

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