I expressed how unimpressed I was with my first try at using Uber — which is a ride-sharing service — in this article. I have not used Uber before simply because ride sharing services in general were either too expensive; unavailable in whatever area in which I was located; or there usually was a better alternative to me…
A Much Better Uber Experience
…but despite my initial hesitation, I decided to try Uber again the next day. With this advice imparted by Kenneth Gati — who is a reader of The Gate — I ordered Uber X to take me from The Graham Washington DC Georgetown, Tapestry Collection by Hilton to Hilton McLean, which is adjacent to the worldwide headquarters of Hilton.
As soon as I walked out of the door of the hotel property, a white Toyota Prius with the correct license plate number arrived at the curb. We each acknowledged that the information we had was correct; and we were on our way. The driver asked if I needed more cool air on the morning of what was to be a scorcher of a June day in the District of Columbia. I replied that I was fine; and that was it for the conversation for the rest of the trip, which was just fine with me.
Other that some traffic in the westbound lanes of Interstate 66, the ride was pleasant and uneventful; and the car arrived at my destination in a timely manner. No arguments. No getting lost. No asking if I was certain that I provided the correct information. Everything worked out well.
The cost of the ride was a reasonable $23.17; plus I rated the driver five stars and left him a gratuity of five dollars. I thought that greater than 20 percent was more than fair.
Many reasons contributed to the experience which I endured with the first time I used Uber — including attempting to catch a ride at a point where many other people were also using ride-sharing services, as was the case at Washington National Airport. There was a lot of noise and confusion; and the airport police were attempting to keep traffic moving by not allowing the drivers of the ride-sharing services to keep their vehicles stopped for more than a couple of minutes. I do remember the driver saying to me that he could not wait very long, as he could incur a fine of $75.00 if he remained idle for too long.
When the pick-up point was at the hotel, I had no problem discerning which vehicle was with Uber. The experience was as flawless as one could get.
I never was much of a user of taxis; and I am not sure I will become a regular user of Uber — but I would certainly consider using a ride-sharing service in the future if a balance of certain factors are right: price, convenience, duration of time, and value. Sometimes public transportation will suffice. Sometimes walking will still be a better option for me. Sometimes a rental car will still win out.
It all depends on the situation and circumstances…