I travel quite a bit and when I do it often means taking everything from subways to taxis to private cars to get around from meeting to meeting and client to client. I’ve reviewed Taxi Magic in the past and stil use it. However, sometimes I need something a little better or more reliable. Even with booking a taxi through Taxi Magic, you are at the mercy of the dispatcher and worse the driver to actually show up. Over the past few months I’ve been using Uber as well. Uber seems to be MUCH MORE RELIABLE. I’ve never had a car take more than 5 minutes to show up and the drivers are usually very professional.
How does it work?
Download the Uber App and add your credit card to it. They even have a nifty ability to take a picture of your credit card in the app to have it input the numbers. That’s it. You’re ready to use the App. Now if you’re in an area covered by Uber, (at my last count they cover 22 major metropolitan areas across the US and in cities like Paris, Amsterdam and Sydney) fire up the App and you’ll instantly see your location on the map and how far the nearest Uber car is away from you. Since I started using the App they’ve added Taxis to the list besides Town Cars and SUVs. Admittedly I haven’t tried them yet for a taxi to see if they are any better than Taxi Magic. However, when it comes to their cars and SUVs their great. You’ll receive a SMS text message confirmation that your driver is on the way as well as another message when your driver arrives. Hop in and tell them where you want to go. Once you arrive just get out and go! Nothing to sign, no tip to worry about. It’s all baked into the price. You’ll see the app update with your charges and the ability to rate your driver 1-5 stars.
The only thing I’d like to see is the ability to schedule in advance. Taxi Magic added this and it has worked great. If you know you’re leaving your meeting and going to the airport at a specific time why not have the ability to book the car in advance?
The Bottom Line
Uber makes it really easy to get a dependable ride from point A to point B. However, this convenience comes at a price. Uber is not cheap! Prices start with a base fare. After that, they charge depending on speed. When travelling at over 11mph, they charge a distance fee. Below 11mph, they charge a time fee. It could easily be twice that of a taxi. This is why I believe they added a taxi service to their offering. If they can provide dependability with the lower cost of a taxi then it’s a win-win! Either way, I’m loving Uber. Thankfully this new version allows you to input a destination and get a fare estimate. This way you can see if it’s worth it rather than getting sticker shock at the end of your ride. The App is free and you don’t pay anything unless you actually get a ride. So it’s worth having on your iPhone as a just in case if nothing else.