Uber: A German word meaning over, above, meta. The ultimate, above all, the best.
There are lots of ways to get around Philly. You can walk, bike or drive. But let’s face it, Septa is, how shall I say, not the finest public transportation in America. Our many Cab’ companies aren’t great either. They can be hard to come by and unreliable. When you do get through to them, they are reluctant to give you their ETA. Say your planning a special night out, like a date night. You want to have a few drinks and arrive in style and on time. Time to hit up Uber, a revolutionary new town car service. Request a ride using their iPhone or Android apps or from m.uber.com., anywhere, anytime. You’ll receive a text back letting you know exactly when to expect you’re car. A driver will arrive, greet you, open the door and whisk you away to you destination. The ride will be billed to your credit card, tip included. Wham, bam, thank you ma’am.
To get started, sign up at www.uber.com and download the mobile app. For every ride the base fee is $8.00. After that Uber charges just under 5 dollars per mile. The minimum fare is 15 dollars. Tax and tip is included in your fare and know cash need be exchanged at the time of your ride. The cost is a little more than a taxicab but last then most town car fees.
What’s so genius about Uber is that it’s really just an app. Uber doesn’t actually hire the drivers or buy the cars. They just connect existing town car drivers with people in need of a ride, at the touch of screen. The service, which began in San Francisco and has already grown to Boston, Chicago, New York, DC, Seattle, Toronto and Paris. It just debuted in Philadelphia. Uber founder and CEO Travis Kalanick, a young entrepreneur, originally from Los Angeles, came to Philadelphia to announce Uber’s new locale, talk to press and get familiar with the city. Kalanick went to UCLA for computer engineering to study computer engineering, but never graduated. He started a company with a bunch of friends at the age of 18. The peer-to-peer file sharing service had to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy after being sued by 29 of the largest media companies for 250 billion. But Kalanick continued to dream up new business plans and in 2010 Uber rolled out in San Francisco. The company has been a smash success and has grown quickly.
While Uber is enjoying great success, the owners of town cars have benefitted a good deal from Uber. They have their own small businesses; they’re freelancers. Uber partners with these limo companies and helps to fill empty time slots for them. It introduces customers that would never have typically considered renting a town car. It’s helping to build their business and providing consumers with a fun, reliably, elegant way to get around the city. Uber prides itself on having, friendly courteous drivers. Their moto is, “everyone’s private driver.” They make you feel important and appreciated.