Uber uses smart phones to take taxi services to new heights

By SHENA CRAWFORD

The social media application Uber has taken the city of Atlanta by storm. The ride sharing application is connecting drivers and riders together all in one quick motion.

“Without the app, I wouldn’t have a ride to work,” said Jarel Mac, 22-year old Uber user. “There isn’t a legit public transit in Woodstock so I would have to depend on friends for a ride or an overly expensive taxi.”

Uber drivers are ordinary people with a license to operate a vehicle. The driver must be 21 years old and have a four-door car with auto insurance.

Alexis Solcome of Morrow uses Uber as well. Solcome says her car transmission gave out on her and she had to get back and forth to work.

“Since the county no longer has C-TRAN, I had to find cheaper ways to get back and forth to work and Uber was the best option for me,” said Solcome.

Uber also gives riders the opportunity to customize their ride. The user can select the type of car to pick them up from their location.

There are four categories of Uber rides: UberX, UberXL, UberSUV, and UberBLACK. UberX starts with a base fare at $1.30 plus $0.16 per minute and $1.22 per mile. Sample vehicles in this category are a Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima or a Honda Accord.

UberXL is the next step up from the UberX. The base fare is $3.10 with an additional $.30 per minute and $2.20 per mile. The sample vehicles in this category are cross-overs and mid-size sedans to fit larger groups over 4.

UberSUV is for even larger groups from 6 to 8 passengers. The base fare is $14 with an additional $.50 per minute and $4 per mile. The sample vehicles for the UberSUV are a Chevrolet Suburban, Cadillac Escalade, or a Lincoln Navigator.

Finally, The UberBLACK option is not for larger groups, but for those who chose to ride in luxury. With a base fare of $7 with an additional $.40 per minute and $3.25 per mile, these wheels are as ravishing as a Cadillac CTS, Lincoln MKZ, or a BMW 7-Series.

Minimum fare and cancellation rates apply and vary on each Uber ride option.

Uber users must have a smart phone to download the application. This is because Uber uses the smart phone’s GPS to locate the user for pick-up. The user must link their credit card to the Uber account and this allows for easy payment and verification of the Uber user.

Uber also allows users to order a regular taxi through the application. By using the Uber account, the user’s credit card information is already verified so payment is quick and easy.

JMac is grateful for the application since it makes him less dependent on friends for rides.

“I know it gets straining for my friends to continually ask them to go out of their way to drop my off at work or to pick me up,” said Mac. “This way, I don’t have to depend on them.”

Mac and Solcome both say they have had nothing but positive experiences with their Uber drivers and that they would recommend the application to anyone. Users can download the application from the App store on their Apple or Android smartphone.

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