Uber is awesome – it’s changed my life. Enroll using this link to receive a free $30 credit. https://www.uber.com/invite/9k7pk
The technology revolution has a firm hold on travel. Los Angeles hosted GBTA2014 and showed off a lot of positive changes. Like most American cities that grew up after World War II it was designed for cars and public transportation is well behind contemporary European and Asian cities. When I moved out of LA in 2008 you couldn’t find much downtown on the weekends, but expansion around Staples Center and LA Live have turned the concrete landscape into a city-dwellers dream. There are people everywhere now, all the time, and people need transportation
Visitors should still opt for a rental car if they’re planning to visit more than one or two areas within the metro area, but technology’s enormous reach has finally arrived in Southern California. Uber.
Cabs in LA are expensive, and slow traffic and long distances have conspired to make taxi’s uneconomic. By July, 2014 Uber had become a market-maker in Los Angeles; waits for a car were never more than 7 minutes. After two days and five or six rides, I was a raging fan. A week later, and I was ready to swear lifetime allegiance.
Uber introduces riders to their driver and their car before it arrives. Every time the “Sam in a Prius” pulled up, I felt like I was greeting a friend. I began to notice an “Uber Waive” – a practice where Uber-users flashed their mobile phones at the unmarked car as if to say, “Hey – I’m the guy who called you through the app.”
Every car that picked me up was clean. Every driver was courteous. Every fare was cheaper than I was expecting – so much so that I want Uber to add a way for me to offer the driver a tip. At one point I was so impressed that I asked a driver to travel around the block before “ending my trip” so he could collect a tip. He refused. Only later did I realize that the receipt I received via email a minute or two after stepping out of the car contained a map of our journey together – to reassure riders that they were delivered by the shortest route.
Many times the driver who accepted my request would call to confirm the pickup location and ask about my destination. Once, when I needed ride from downtown to Redondo Beeach, a 30 mile trip, the driver said that he had an appointment he didn’t want to break, and would I allow him to turn the trip down? Yes – and the next driver who accepted my trip was delighted to take me to the South Bay. How many times have you ridden in a cab and the driver was visibly irritated by something? It just doesn’t happen with Uber.
Uber provides an incredible experience – all of it positive. By the end of the week as I stood on the curb outside my hotel and watched people hail cabs – I just couldn’t stop thinking they’re “suckers” from another era. Uber changed my life.