Using Uber in Boston
Last week I took a trip to Boston. Before I went, I read somewhere online about a service called Uber. I thought it was something similar to a taxi service but I didn’t know exactly what it was since I have been always driving in Austin.
It was my first visit to Boston and I told myself why not try out the cab service since the regular taxi service wasn’t always pleasant. It ended up I that used Uber throughout my visit and the experience was great!
Basically Uber is like Airbnb. There are people who want to make extra income in their spare time, and if they have a decent car, they can apply to be a Uber driver. They will have to go through a background check, and their cars are inspected. What Uber drivers like is the flexible schedule, and it is nice that they are keeping 80% to 90% of what a customer pays.
Using Uber is pretty simple. After downloaded the app, I set up my payment method. I decided to use Paypal since I wasn’t comfortable giving my credit card information at first. When I need a cab, I pull up the app, enter a pick up location. Then I can key in the destination and get a estimated quote. The app will show you a possible fare range, usually the range is about $5±. Once I request an Uber service, the app will show me how long is the wait and I can see where is the car on the map. It is useful because when it is raining, I didn’t have to wait out there, I could go out when I saw the car was approaching my location. I used the service countless time in Boston and I had never waited more than 7 minutes. Usually the car came in 3 minutes.
Uber drivers seemed to be happier drivers compared to regular taxi drivers. They are happy to make extra income whenever they want. It is not like working part time in a restaurant that you will have to go in even the schedule is inconvenience for you. They were really friendly and some were even giving me tips about the city.
On the negative side, the fare could fluctuate depending on the demand. If you are in downtown or when it is a busy hour, you could be paying 2x or 3x more if you want to use Uber.
To the ultimate question, did I feel safe using Uber? I think most of the time I did feel safe using Uber. However, it is just like using a regular taxi, you can never really know. I bet sometimes the drivers don’t feel safe either especially since their customers are not going through background check, right? Regardless if it is Uber or a taxi, it is always good to be careful, and be ready. There are apps that you can easily use to get help if you need to.