The Uberfication

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I ubered my first Uber. For anyone unfamiliar with it, Uber is basically an unlicensed taxi service, more euphemistically referred to as a “ride sharing service.” It would be ride “sharing” if the driver were, you know, already going where you’re going, but they’re going there because you ask them to. And then you pay them for it.

As I said, an unlicensed taxi service.

Given the lack of the cost of a medallion and any of the other requirements for taxis in a city, Uber is, unsurprisingly, often cheaper, unless you use it during a “surge” time, meaning a time when demand is high. Then they really nail you.

Everybody up to speed? Excellent.

I was reluctant to try it, but I went to dinner with friends for my birthday last week and one of them, an Uber aficionado (how fun of a language mix is that?!) insisted on sending one for me. And then she got one for me to go home, as the empty cabs filed past (we were in a very cabby part of town).

It was a lot like taking a cab, but without the divider. The cars were both very clean and comfortable, and I sat in the back as the driver drove. One was chattier than the other, but again, that’s like a cab.

But I may try it again. Why? Because I can get one without having to have cash. Yes, all cabs in Chicago take credit cards now. In theory. I’ve heard the horror stories when the cabbies refuse them, and I’ve never felt comfortable using those card readers.

With Uber, it’s all handled online. And although I live in a cab-rich area, you can’t always find one everywhere.

So there it is. I was reluctant, and if I’m being very honest — and I do my best to be — scared to try something so completely foreign to me. I was so used to doing things the way I’ve always done them that branching out, even slightly, seemed unsettling.

But I did it. Really, I was nudged into it firmly, but that still counts, right?

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7 thoughts on “The Uberfication

    • Oh there is. As there should be, really. I honestly am not sure how they are allowed to operate without having to be licensed as livery. Which is such an old-fashioned word for it.

  1. We always want to Uber on Friday and Saturday night, downtown and/or back. Uber is all, “No, you’re too far,” and the ones that do accept are more costly than a cab. Even still, we have trouble getting a cab home. We live ten miles from downtown. Kinda makes me crazy! I’m glad your experiences went well!

    • I’m right in the city, so both cabs and Uber are plentiful. Even a friend who lives in the suburbs (but the suburb that borders on the city) uses it all the time–she’s the one who ordered it for me.

      Enterprising aspiring drivers should start up in your area! And the worst part is you’re being responsible by not driving, and it shouldn’t be so hard to do…

  2. This all seems so foreign to me not living in the city. I’ve owned a car since I was 17 and I’m so used to just driving myself where ever I want to go. I think I ridden in a cab maybe twice.

    • I also have a car! But parking at certain times is difficult, and if I’m going to drink at all (even one glass of wine) I don’t drive. It’s easy to avoid here, but because most of my friends live in the suburbs, I rarely drink wine when we have dinner 🙂

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