The Five Top Ways I Use Uber
by Empish J. Thomas
Why I Use Uber
The past year Uber has revolutionized my life. It has been an excellent alternative to public transportation, cabs, hiring personal drivers and asking for rides from friends. I have used Uber for all kinds of commuting around the Atlanta Metro area. Doctor appointments, work-related meetings, grocery shopping, and outings with friends and movie nights. You name it and Uber has pretty much taken me there. But with all of this traveling around Uber can be quite addictive. I mean, with the ability to call up a driver in about 5-10 minutes with the swipe of a finger on your smartphone just about any time you want? That is just hard to beat! But there is a cost to because Uber can be expensive depending on where you are going. My rides have ranged from as little as $5 to as high as $30 or more,causing me to slow down and look closely at the top most important times to use Uber. So if you are considering using Uber and are not sure of when to use the service take a look at my suggestions.
The Five Ways I Use Uber
- When taking short trips in the neighborhood. I call this my five minutes for five bucks ride. My local grocery store is about a mile from my home and an Uber trip is only five minutes away and cost about $5 to get there. A typical ride on Paratransit is $4 and with waiting time will be 30-minutes to an hour. A cab is $10 and the wait time can be about the same as Paratransit. So in situations when I am grocery shopping I will call up Uber. No more having to rush to get my groceries because the bus is coming back by a certain time. No more bag limits on the bus. And no more not having ice cream because it will melt before I get it home! Now with Uber, I can call up a ride in about five minutes. The shoppers that assist me in the store will usually wait with me while the car is coming and help me with my groceries when the car comes. Since I am so close to home I am at my house in about 10-minutes and I only spent about $5 for the trip. With Paratransit and a cab I would still be waiting for my ride to come and my ice cream would be melting!
- When you have to be to a certain place on time. Doctor’s appointments, work and special engagements are all important events that require that I be prompt. Sometimes there is flexibility but sometimes there is not. In situations where I don’t get much wiggle room I will take Uber. For example, I have doctors that will charge a late or no-show fee if I arrive 15-minutes late or after for an appointment. So knowing how unreliable other modes of transport can be I will take Uber to those appointments. Or if I am going to the doctor’s and not sure of how long the appointment will last, I will take the bus there and then Uber home afterward. This happened recently where I had an eye doctor appointment where Paratransit got me to the appointment an hour early. That was okay. I would rather be early than late, right? But the twist came when my doctor also saw me early. So now I am finished and I have two and a half hours to wait for Paratransit to come back and pick me up. That is a very long time to wait for a ride. So what to do? I called up Uber and went home. The time I arrived home was the time that my appointment was supposed to start! I had to laugh at the amount of time I saved using another form of transportation.
- When the bus breaks down. Uber came in very handy one morning on my commute to work. I was on Paratransit heading to work. The driver kept noticing that the brakes were acting strange. So after calling in the situation she pulled the bus over into a parking lot to wait for a replacement bus to come. We had no idea of how long that would be. In the past when this kind of situation would happen I could be on the bus an hour or more. Well, not this time! I pulled out my smartphone and called up Uber. I asked the other passengers if they were going in my direction and offered a ride with me. One other passenger was also going the same way. Uber was there in about 10 minutes and we were on our way to work. So, in situations where the bus breaks down or the car is in the shop for repairs, Uber is a great alternative.
- When out with friends. A group of friends from the blind book club I belong to all wanted to go out and eat after attending an author presentation at the local library. Instead of taking Paratransit or a cab to the restaurant I suggested we take Uber. I called up Uber on my phone and ordered a large size car that we could all fit comfortably in. Once we got to the restaurant and I was able to see the final charge I divided the cost and each person paid me a portion of the trip. We were able to all travel together in one vehicle and have a great time eating out.
- Excessive wait times and delays with Paratransit or other modes of transportation. If you are a regular Paratransit rider you are well aware of the long wait times and delays that can happen. Or maybe you are dealing with friends and family that don’t show up on time or forget to come and pick you up. Unreliable transportation can be stressful and a pain to deal with when you are visually impaired. It can make you feel angry and powerless. For me, these are the times I consider taking Uber. If I have given the proper amount of time for Paratransit to arrive and they are still late, then I look at taking Uber. Especially if it is in the evening, I have had a long day, and am feeling tired and exhausted. I look closely at the situation and the time I am wasting waiting on Paratransit. I have come to realize that my time is very precious. Uber gives me a lot of freedom and power to do the things I want and need to do without wasting a lot of my time and energy.
My Ways Are Subjective
So, I hope that my five top ways of using Uber were helpful for you. Please keep in mind these ways are completely subjective and just coming from personal experience. As you use Uber you might find similar experiences or totally different ones. But at the end of the day, I believe that Uber is a great alternative to traditional modes of transportation that are currently available.
Be sure to read my first post on Using Uber as an Alternative Transportation Source.
Re: The Five Top Ways I Use UberPosted by maribelsteel on 3/23/2016 at 6:48 AM
Empish, another great article on Uber, I like the sound of having a driver come promptly when you need a lift. Are they always different drivers or do you sometimes get the same ones?
Re: The Five Top Ways I Use UberPosted by Empish on 3/23/2016 at 9:34 AM
Maribel, Thanks for your compliment. The drivers are usually different each time I have called up a ride. Their name will appear on your phone so you will know who you are dealing with. But there was onetime when i got the same driver. That was kind of cool. She drove around the same timeframe each day in my neighborhood and I just lucked out and got her twice. Now, some blind folks I know will build a relationship with a Uber driver and call them on their cell phone to pick them up, if available. Once the driver arrives, they will sync their phones together so that that particular driver will get the fare.
Re: The Five Top Ways I Use UberPosted by ADemmitt on 3/23/2016 at 11:04 AM
Great ways to use Uber! I donor have Uber in my town yet but I use it every chance I get when we travel to other cities. Drivers will often give us suggestions for local restaurants and sightseeing. An extra bonus!
Re: The Five Top Ways I Use UberPosted by ADemmitt on 3/23/2016 at 11:06 AM
Great ways to use Uber! I don't have Uber in my town yet but I use it every chance I get when we travel to other cities. Drivers will often give us suggestions for local restaurants and sightseeing. An extra bonus!
Re: The Five Top Ways I Use UberPosted by Bas1710 on 3/23/2016 at 5:17 PM
I loved both your articles on Uber and hope that option for transportation comes my way soon! It sounds like a great alternative and I know quite a few of my friends, mostly sighted, use Uber in their areas. I look forward to reading more from you.
Re: The Five Top Ways I Use UberPosted by Empish on 3/24/2016 at 9:45 AM
Additionally to what you have shared is this. While on a trip is make a stop for something to eat. I have done that many times. Just swing through the drive thru and pick up something quick and then keep going to your final destination. I like Uber for that because I can’t do that on public transportation.
Re: The Five Top Ways I Use UberPosted by Empish on 3/24/2016 at 9:50 AM
Thanks for your compliment. The way things are going Uber is sure to be coming to your area soon. It is just a matter of time. And like Audrey said you can use Uber when traveling to other places for visiting family, vacation or business. I was in Austin last summer on a business trip and several of the conference members were using Uber to eat out and see the city while they were there. Also, just this past Christmas Uber was announced as coming to my family’s home town in Birmingham, Alabama.
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