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Taking Uber for a test ride

Upon vacationing in Chicago, this Detroiter took Uber, the personal taxi service app, for a test ride. Using public transportation in any city always poses a bit of in trepidation. However, I found Uber to be less stressful than simply hailing a standard cab for several reasons. Uber is about 20 percent cheaper, more user friendly than most taxis, and typically more reliable.

Uber, Not Your Father's Taxi Service
Microsoft ClipArt

Start your test ride by following three simple steps. But before doing so, either sign up via the Web for an immediate $30 discount code or search Google for one of several first free or up to $30 first time Uber usage discounts.

  1. Just point your smartphone to download the free Uber app via the Google Play or the Apple App Store.
  2. Enter your credit card information as well as your cell phone number, your initial ride discount code, and a valid email address. You will then receive a confirmation text.
  3. Check your text, reply with the word “Go” and your account is confirmed!

The handy little app packs a powerful GPS punch. Once you are an official member, you’ll see any visible Uber approved cars meandering in your neck of the woods. Submit a pick up request by simply denoting your final destination. The app will then tell you how many minutes until a prospective Uber taxi may pick you up. You should then get a phone call to confirm your pick. You can tell the Uber driver what side of the street you are on, etc.

Uber drivers must report to a face-to-face Uber location in order to be approved and like most app services, you as well as the driver can rate the experience. For example, if you request a Uber taxi and you decide not to go on several occasions, your prospective Uber passenger rating could likely be lowered. On the other hand, if the Uber driver provides you with less than optimal or a polite experience, you can rate that driver.

Unfortunately, Uber does not yet allow users to see their passenger rating. Several blogs offer possible solutions. No matter, why would anyone feel his or her Uber driver would rate them so poorly anyhow? Really, you might be able to buy your Uber driver a hotdog to see his or her report on you, but no worries.

Detroiters, get online ride quotes before you decide. After two or three rides you’ll be a Uber expert. Perhaps you may agree compared to the old Taxi standby, Uber is the only way to go.