One word: Uber.
I took a little trip to the New York this past weekend, and used this app, which locates safe and reliable local cars in an area. Now this isn't used all around the US, but in most popular cities.
So this is what happens:
You request a ride. Uber uses your GPS location to map out your area, then proceeds to notify a car that is near you to pick you up (to go to your desired destination later on). The screen would show the driver's name, photo, license plate number, and contact. Another unique aspect of using this app--it's cash free. It tracks your ride, and evaluates how much it would cost for the fare, and charges straight to your credit card. That way, you can just say thank you, and say goodbye without the awkwardness of slipping cash in last minute. And get this. It's cheaper than a taxi. Like, significantly cheaper.
Now this isn't a "licensed company", which could potentially be a factor for cities to consider allowing it in the future if it grows bigger. Taxis, are licensed. But taxis, are also expensive.
Another part of this app, which many drivers like, is the ability to rate and get rated.
The customer usually rates the driver out of the usual five stars, and that is shown publicly. But, the driver also rates the customer. This is not shown publicly to the the customer, but displayed for other drivers to know as well.
It is as nervous and interesting for both to be in the same position, but it seems pretty fair to me.
Drivers are amiable, polite, and usually bring up Uber as either a conversation starter or a topic in general. Clean cars, mostly, and quite understanding when I had to lug my heavy luggage in their cars as well.
The app itself is developed by Uber Technologies in Delaware. They offer the service as a personal use only, and you should be 18+. Legal-wise, there are many gray areas. There are services such as Uber Black (more expensive), which it is perfectly legal for those to be driven to the airport, now, on the other hand, other like applications like UberX, who are authorized to drive, but just not to the airport. And keep in mind that the latter is cheaper.
Uber is legal, but you must understand which service you are using.
In all, Uber has proved to me as convenient as it is efficient as a network-based app. It updates often, has a clean typeface, and I've come to terms that it isn't creepy and weird after all.
If you'd like to learn more, visit www.uber.com or download the app in the App Store or Google Play! If you've used the app before don't be afraid to comment about it.
I'll be posting more about that trip to the East Coast in the next few posts, so be sure to check those out too!
Hope you all are enjoying your summer,