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Old 06-20-2014, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Miraflores
786 posts, read 895,985 times
Reputation: 1531

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We have it, but it is more than the local taxi's. A "hailed cab" to go about 20 min away is typically $4.28, Uber charges $7.85 the app we use is "Easy taxi" which has nice sedans for $5.71. There both good for longer trips , If I am going crosstown maybe 20 blocks I can hop a bus for 35 cents or hail a cab for $2.00.
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Old 06-20-2014, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,872 posts, read 13,564,810 times
Reputation: 29033
A lot of Uber users are unaware that pricing by the company is also not regulated and can be jacked up without warning at busy times. The company uses an algorithm to raise and lower the price based on customer demand. At extremely popular usage times, such as in bad weather or on holidays when many people go out drinking and need a ride home, rates can be as many as seven times the normal price.
Uber kept new drivers off the road to encourage surge pricing and increase fares | The Verge

Some of the latest Uber-related news stories are coming from women complaining about harassment from Uber drivers.
Uber

Here's a news report about an Uber driver arrested for allegedly kidnapping a drunk woman he picked up in LA and took to a motel instead of home:
Off-Duty Uber Driver Allegedly Kidnaps ‘Bar-Hopping’ Woman | KTLA 5

While Uber maintains is "surge pricing" is a boon to its drivers, others maintain that the drivers aren't getting the extra money and are starting to get disgruntled. Just what you want ... a driver who is unhappy with his unregulated employer.
Uber surge pricing: The company should give the extra money to the driver.

Coordinated blockades all over Europe ó including London, Madrid and Berlin ó stopped traffic in those cities in a protest of Uber by taxi drivers earlier this month. Taxi companies complain that their drivers are subject to serious, expensive requirements and regulations that Uber currently is ignoring. Taxi drivers say this lack of regulation is placing the public at great risk. It doe seem to me that the personal information a driver can glean from a passenger due to the way Uber drivers are contacted does, indeed, put passengers in greater physical jeopardy than they would be using a regulated, licensed cab.
Anti-Uber Protests Shut Down Euro Cities - The Daily Beast
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Old 06-20-2014, 07:42 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,847 posts, read 30,381,599 times
Reputation: 22356
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyn55 View Post
What do you know about it? What do you think about it? Is it around where you live?

I kind of resisted the notion at first - but this could be an absolutely great thing for seniors who don't want to drive - but don't care to use public transit systems either. Robyn
50 percent of all vehicle crash fatalities are passengers. Nope. Not getting into any car that I'm not driving. No way.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 06-20-2014, 07:50 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,989,888 times
Reputation: 18050
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyn55 View Post
WRT insurance - well it may be a joke WRT Uber - but it's a joke WRT taxis too. Here in Florida - the cab companies set up different owners for each cab - and only buy the minimum insurance for each cab.

IOW - I don't worry about the insurance aspect (I have plenty of my own insurance no matter whose car I'm traveling in). I do perhaps worry about getting into a car driven by strangers. OTOH - when I go to a lot of cities these days - cabs are being driven by friends/family/neighbors/whatever of the person whose name is on the medallion. Robyn
But require amount depends on local and state laws governing it by regulation. Locally here the city charges a permit fee that covers regulation of taxi. My insurance covers me but only has driver of any other car; not passenger. There is primary coverage even then like health insurance. Here the coverage required of taxis is larger than passenger not for hire vehicles.
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Old 06-20-2014, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Beach
1,501 posts, read 1,192,729 times
Reputation: 3790
I used Uber when I broke my ankle and they were a life saver. The drivers were all very helpful, assisting me in and out of the car. The cars were spotless and what I liked best was you could look on the app and see exactly when they were coming. They always advise you in advance of placing your order about surge pricing so you can decide not to use them. I found their prices very reasonable.
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Old 06-20-2014, 09:41 PM
 
3,351 posts, read 3,055,161 times
Reputation: 4885
Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
50 percent of all vehicle crash fatalities are passengers. Nope. Not getting into any car that I'm not driving. No way.

20yrsinBranson
You'd fit in great here where everyone goes out for drinks and then drives home.

And yes, surge pricing is always announced in advance. You can choose to use it or not.
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Old 06-21-2014, 05:37 AM
 
26 posts, read 27,689 times
Reputation: 67
Here is what I know about it:

2.5 years ago, i answered an ad on cl that said, verbatim:

"Drive hybrid taxi San Francisco"

I thought I was applying to a taxi company and that the poster simply didn't have a grasp of English. I met with some random guy in Milbrae in a parking lot where there were 4 other guys and a few mazdas. Not even an office, just a parking lot. Incredibly skeptical, I stuck around just to see how far down the rabbit hole this nonsense was going to go. The other guys there were all middle eastern with poor english skills so this guy was ecstatic that I was there; I was sent to Uber headquarters after showing him my somewhat forged DMV report. At the Uber hq, I was sat down in front of an ipad to take a "street knowledge" test thats one of the stupidest things Ive ever seen. It was a simple multiple choice test but some of the questions were things like "What area in San Francisco best represents the Wicker Park area?" with no option to mark "none". I stopped taking the test and pointed out to someone that Wicker Park is in a real city, Chicago. The official response was that i should go and speak with the person doing the next part of the "hiring" process, which was a 5 minute "interview". That was it, I was given an iphone and sent on my way. No background check at all in the least. I could have been a wanted murderer, an illegal alien (don't care if thats not a PC term) or the vanilla Monster from Scooby Doo, it was all the same.

The car I was given to drive was a second hand Mazda 3 that was in alright shape but unlike a taxi company (and no, Im not an advocate for SF cabs. The cabs/cab drivers in SF are the worst.), there was no garage to park in, no regular maintenance, no nothing. The whole thing about not having insurance was not true, at least not in my case. The vehicle i was given had a 1,000,000 policy but there are other Uber drivers I know that actually owned and operated their own cars who had purchased a policy specifically to show to Uber to register in their system but then allowed it to lapse the next month. Very, very shady.


There are also some other misconceptions about Uber I'd like to dispel:

1. The driver does not see any of that 20% tip. Uber takes and keeps that, in addition to another 10-15%. In fact, the drivers are treated extremely poorly by Uber. If you don't own the vehicle you are driving, after Uber takes its percentage you split whatever is leftover with the owner of the vehicle. However, the driver (not the owner of the vehicle) is expected to pay for gas, bridge tolls, car washes, bottled water and whatever other nonsense they expect you to have on hand. As no cash exchanges hands with the driver, its all on him. There is simply no way to make a living wage with this business model. In addition, Uber has screwed its black car driver base by introducing Uberx, then screwed its Uberx drivers over by introducing Uber taxi.

2. Surge pricing is a huge scam. On NYE 2012, Uber sent out an email to its customers saying to expect to pay a $100 before even getting into the vehicle, in addition to the actual fare. This went over poorly with consumers and the drivers paid the price as not many people used Uber that evening. I sat for hours with the Uber phone on and had no fares. despite having no action the entire night (ie no demand), surge pricing went on for the two fares I had between 12:00 am and 1:30 am. There was no need for surge pricing as there was no real demand, it was just a cash grab. I quit that night, btw.

3. Uber drivers have NO training. None. Take Uber a few times then hire a car from an actual limo company. The difference is enormous in terms of drivers street/area knowledge.

4. The Uber gps based fare calculator is not accurate.



Long story short, Uber is a huge scam. You might enjoy the ability to summon a car on demand but the ride you are being taken on may not be one you like. Buyer beware indeed.
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Old 06-21-2014, 06:41 AM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,945,286 times
Reputation: 6717
Interesting stuff - especially about the potential for sexual harassment. When we were in Houston last month - we left a gallery the same time a young attractive woman from out-of-town did. She hopped into an unmarked/no identifying number Uber car with a total stranger. Which would have given me pause. If I had been in her shoes - I would have at least taken down a license plate number.

OTOH - when it comes to Uber - I think the potential for getting into accidents probably varies more as a result of local driving habits than who's driving a vehicle. I used to think that taking cabs in Manhattan was like taking a thrill ride at Disney until I was involved in a couple of accidents there and learned that aggressive reckless driving does indeed lead to accidents and that being in a cab confers no immunity. Glad I always wear a seat belt. FWIW - drivers in other places are often a lot more laid back than those in Manhattan.

When it comes to training - I'm not sure Uber drivers could be much worse than many cab drivers. Many (most?) are hideously ignorant about the geography of the places where they live. Some don't know how to use a GPS - and others don't even - in this day and age - have a GPS. Which is why I always carry maps of an area I'm visiting. Note that this can work both to the disadvantage and advantage of the passenger. In Houston - I gave a cab driver an address that he thought was downtown ($6 flat fee) - and it was only when we were 2 miles outside that zone that he realized the destination wasn't in the zone - and turned on the meter. He probably lost about $5 of his fare as a result of his mistake.

Also - in many cities today - it is sometimes hard to get a cab driver who speaks basic English - much less fluent English. In Houston - I expected to find a lot of Spanish speaking drivers (and I can speak Spanish). But most drivers spoke languages other than English or Spanish. So communication was very difficult. Perhaps Uber will be an improvement in that area. Robyn
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Old 06-21-2014, 07:16 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,222,137 times
Reputation: 6866
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corleon3 View Post
Here is what I know about it:

2.5 years ago, i answered an ad on cl that said, verbatim:

"Drive hybrid taxi San Francisco"

I thought I was applying to a taxi company and that the poster simply didn't have a grasp of English. I met with some random guy in Milbrae in a parking lot where there were 4 other guys and a few mazdas. Not even an office, just a parking lot. Incredibly skeptical, I stuck around just to see how far down the rabbit hole this nonsense was going to go. The other guys there were all middle eastern with poor english skills so this guy was ecstatic that I was there; I was sent to Uber headquarters after showing him my somewhat forged DMV report. At the Uber hq, I was sat down in front of an ipad to take a "street knowledge" test thats one of the stupidest things Ive ever seen. It was a simple multiple choice test but some of the questions were things like "What area in San Francisco best represents the Wicker Park area?" with no option to mark "none". I stopped taking the test and pointed out to someone that Wicker Park is in a real city, Chicago. The official response was that i should go and speak with the person doing the next part of the "hiring" process, which was a 5 minute "interview". That was it, I was given an iphone and sent on my way. No background check at all in the least. I could have been a wanted murderer, an illegal alien (don't care if thats not a PC term) or the vanilla Monster from Scooby Doo, it was all the same.

The car I was given to drive was a second hand Mazda 3 that was in alright shape but unlike a taxi company (and no, Im not an advocate for SF cabs. The cabs/cab drivers in SF are the worst.), there was no garage to park in, no regular maintenance, no nothing. The whole thing about not having insurance was not true, at least not in my case. The vehicle i was given had a 1,000,000 policy but there are other Uber drivers I know that actually owned and operated their own cars who had purchased a policy specifically to show to Uber to register in their system but then allowed it to lapse the next month. Very, very shady.


There are also some other misconceptions about Uber I'd like to dispel:

1. The driver does not see any of that 20% tip. Uber takes and keeps that, in addition to another 10-15%. In fact, the drivers are treated extremely poorly by Uber. If you don't own the vehicle you are driving, after Uber takes its percentage you split whatever is leftover with the owner of the vehicle. However, the driver (not the owner of the vehicle) is expected to pay for gas, bridge tolls, car washes, bottled water and whatever other nonsense they expect you to have on hand. As no cash exchanges hands with the driver, its all on him. There is simply no way to make a living wage with this business model. In addition, Uber has screwed its black car driver base by introducing Uberx, then screwed its Uberx drivers over by introducing Uber taxi.

2. Surge pricing is a huge scam. On NYE 2012, Uber sent out an email to its customers saying to expect to pay a $100 before even getting into the vehicle, in addition to the actual fare. This went over poorly with consumers and the drivers paid the price as not many people used Uber that evening. I sat for hours with the Uber phone on and had no fares. despite having no action the entire night (ie no demand), surge pricing went on for the two fares I had between 12:00 am and 1:30 am. There was no need for surge pricing as there was no real demand, it was just a cash grab. I quit that night, btw.

3. Uber drivers have NO training. None. Take Uber a few times then hire a car from an actual limo company. The difference is enormous in terms of drivers street/area knowledge.

4. The Uber gps based fare calculator is not accurate.



Long story short, Uber is a huge scam. You might enjoy the ability to summon a car on demand but the ride you are being taken on may not be one you like. Buyer beware indeed.
Funny that you should mention this. When I was looking at Craigslist yesterday, I noticed two different types of "Uber" ads. One appeared to be directly from Uber, Make $1000/week driving with Uber!, and other did not: Flexible job, no car or experience required

If you follow the link in the real Uber ad, it takes you to Uber's secure site. If you click on the link in the second ad, it does not take you to Uber's site.

Perhaps you contracted directly with a sketchy "middleman", not Uber. So, how do potential passengers know whether the driver is approved by Uber (background investigation, etc.) ? I have no idea. Buyer beware indeed.
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Old 06-21-2014, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Sinkholeville
1,496 posts, read 1,433,515 times
Reputation: 2323
Seems like in the near future taxis will become more Uber-like, with simple apps, pricing, and billing.
Or Ubers will become more taxi-like, with rate regulations, fees, commissions, local bureaucracies, etc.

Either way, there will always remain the problems of crimes by drivers and against drivers, and this will always be true, all over the world. Hiring underpaid strangers is dangerous.

I don't know of many elderly senior citizens who can master smartphone apps, their VHS decks have been blinking "00:00" since 1999.
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