By DENALI BOLLENS
Black cars with a bright shining U at the bottom right corner of their windshields have been popping up all over Irvine recently. These cars stem from Uber, an increasingly popular app, which provides an innovative and trustworthy car service. An alternative to taxis for teenagers and adults, an Uber car service can be ordered within 3 minutes for those who require quick transportation. All customers need to do to start using this service is download the app on their mobile device.
After they have downloaded the application, customers are asked to input a credit or debit card number. Immediately after a user receives transportation service, Uber charges the card, sending a receipt to the passenger’s email. In my opinion, this payment method is more convenient than typical cash transactions with taxi drivers, especially when a customer needs a ride unexpectedly and does not have cash on hand.
Uber offers both regular and extra-large sized cars, depending on how many people are in someone’s party. Prospective drivers must go through an extensive background check before they are cleared to drive. Transportation service is offered 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
Though Uber has made transportation more quick and convenient, users also have to be responsible when using the application. Because some people are concerned about safety when using Uber, the app has a feature through which users can rate Uber drivers and drivers can rate customers.
While the non-cash payment method might make paying easy for some people, teenagers who do not own credit or debit cards do not get access to Uber services.
University High School (UHS) students have begun to use Uber frequently. Andrea Jacob (Sr.) shared that she uses Uber often and said of her experiences, “Uber is safer and more comfortable than a Taxi service. When my parents are unable to drive me and I don’t have access to a car, Uber enables me to continue my daily activities.” When asked about her thoughts on Uber’s customer service, Sydney Schneider (Sr.) said, “My driver Wahid was nothing short of a gentleman. My friends and I were running late and he waited patiently for us to show up.”
The cost of transportation varies depending on the service requested and the city location. A standard car, UberX, costs $0.80 initial fee plus $0.21 per minute plus $1.10 per mile, while an upscale SUV, UberSUV, cost $15 initial fee plus $0.50 per minute plus $4.30 per mile. The standard UberX is used more by teenagers and young adults who are trying to save money, while the UberSUV is used more by adults looking to ride in style. The basic UberX is less expensive compared to standard Taxi fares, which typically cost slightly under $3 initial fee plus $2.50 per mile. In fact, taxi companies have begun complaining that Uber is taking many of the taxi companies’ customers and clients.
The app is available for free on the iTunes Apple Store. Uber could be the next big thing in the transportation world; I highly recommend that people try it.