Uber’s been around for a while but I realized I’d never featured it when a bunch of my friends asked me what it is. Uber is basically your on-demand private driver or taxi (uberX). Users can request a ride at any time using their iPhone and Android apps or straight from their mobile website (m.uber.com; you still need to register). Just tell them where you want to be picked up (using their app or site), set your pickup location on the map and they’ll dispatch the nearest driver to pick you up. You’ll also receive a text with the estimated arrival time and will get another when the car arrives.
You don’t need to pay anything to the driver because after the ride, Uber will automatically charge the credit card you have on file. There’s no need to hand your driver any payment at all, as a standard tip has been built into the price. Prices start with a base fare. After that, they charge you depending on speed. When traveling at over 11 mph, they charge a distance fee. Below 11 mph, they charge a time fee. Black cars are a bit more than taxis but uberX’s are about 30% cheaper—and both are much more convenient as you can order a car with the tap of a button, as well as see exactly where the car is and when it will arrive.
I prefer using uberX’s when available since its cars are so much cheaper than taxis. For example, I was staying at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, from which a taxi to SFO costs about $55, and uberX cost me just $34. Plus, all the drivers were nice, had clean cars, were good drivers and provided bottled water.