Sunday, July 20, 2014

My First Uber Ride Experience

It is truly amazing what the free market can deliver when it is not suffocated by government regulation. And, it is very easy to see why the government protected taxi industry is all up in arms over Uber.

You can sign up for an Uber account, as I did, over a smartphone in less than five minutes. You don't even have to punch in the digits of your credit card, the card being the way you pay for a ride.You simply snap a picture of the card.

Once you download the Uber app to your smartphone, the experience is quite stunning for those of us used to taxi service. When you need to call a car, you open the app and it shows you, on a map, all the Uber cars in the area. You simply hit a request button for a car and Uber detects your exact location and tells you the per minute and per mile fee, for the ride.You never talk to a dispatcher or anyone else. It's all done nearly instantaneously via the app. You confirm that you want a ride and, next, the name and picture of your driver pops up on the screen, including the kind of car he is driving. And estimated time of arrival.

In my case, it was 2 minutes from my U-haul location on the outskirts of SF. If I had called a regulated taxi, I am sure the time would have been somewhere between 10 to 15 minutes, with a 10% chance no taxi would show up even after the call. But with Uber, I could see on the map the exact car that was coming to pick me up and in real-time where exactly it was on the road.

My destination was downtown San Francisco. A government regulated taxi ride would have probably been somewhere around $14.00. When the Uber driver delivered me to my location, he simply logged the trip as complete, from his cell phone and that was it. A minute later, on the app, I checked the price for the ride: $5.17.



  1. This service is not the result of a free market which does not exist.. But as Milton Freidman knew,technology can make government regulation so much more palatable.

  2. I hate taxis with every fiber of my being, so Uber (and Lyft) is the greatest thing ever. A wee pocket of hope amongst the tyrants.