Taxis relieve riders of stresses associated with driving, such as hiring a guitarist to complement dashboard drumming or buying hitchhikers a car so you don’t have to pick them up. Leave road responsibilities to a professional with today’s Groupon: for $19, you get $40 worth of on-demand private car services from Uber.
Applauded by TechCrunch‘s Michael Arrington for its seamless reinvention of the taxi-riding experience, Uber deploys a fleet of sleek vehicles to pick up phone-wielding passengers within minutes of their request. After signing up on Uber’s website, rideless clients who decide against the bus, train, or experimental commuter ski lift can text Uber or contact them through an iPhone or Android app, summoning a car that appears within 5–10 minutes. Uber eliminates the clunky meters and shotgun-riding accountants present during standard cab rides, instead charging a $7 base fee, $3.50-per-mile time fee, and an $0.85-per-minute time fee. After the ride, the fare, which includes tip, is automatically charged to the customer’s on-file credit card, eliminating the need for cash or bartering with seashells.
Uber vehicles distinguish themselves from the checkered, low-tech cars of yesteryear with their cozy, roomy interiors and friendly, professional drivers. The service helps ride-needy customers to avoid increasingly complex, performance art–based cab-hailing rituals, making them ideal for shuttling socialites from one cosmopolitan destination to the next. For more information, see Uber's frequently asked questions page.
Commended by Michael Arrington of TechCrunch for “eliminating everything bad about a taxi experience,” Uber dispatches vehicles with a click of a button. After registering online, customers can forego flagging down cabs or hijacking buses and instead summon one of Uber’s vehicles via the iPhone or Android app or a simple text message. Uber deploys rides within minutes of the request, and offers users the opportunity to rate their driver or give feedback at the end of each journey. Fares are all-inclusive, and hassle-free payments are completed using your credit card on file with no need to tip, thereby eliminating the need to carry cash or learn to count.