As the token millennial at family gatherings, I’m often asked about this “Uber thing”. “What is it?” “Why is it so great?” and “It’s causing a lot of issues for the taxi drivers, you know.”
I live in the Greater Toronto Area where taxis are expensive and we don’t have an ideal public transportation system. I also don’t have a car. Given this, Uber has been my go-to when the public transportation system doesn’t cut it, and that’s meant close to 100 rides in the past 2 years.
I’m a staunch supporter of Uber from a customer experience perspective. Yes, I am aware of the challenges their introduction has posed on the existing taxi system. I recognize there have been complaints in the past about their insurance coverage and whether it stacks up. I’m not, however, here to comment on these more “political” aspects. Instead, I’ll share why, from a millennial user perspective, the Uber experience is so positive. Here is my Uber Toronto review.
If you already know you’re ready to sign up and you’re looking for a promo code, here you go! This will give you $20 OFF YOUR FIRST RIDE!
Ease of “ordering”
While I haven’t ordered a traditional taxi in years, I remember those times well. It would involve looking up a number, calling it, and waiting for someone to answer (which during busy times, could be minutes). Next was waiting and wondering how long it would take since the operator’s estimates weren’t always accurate. There were also no updates on the driver’s location or expected arrival time.
With Uber, I open the app, which automatically detects my location and also has my home address programmed in for easy selection. I type in where I’m going which doesn’t have to be an address, as the app is smart enough to identify the address of key restaurants, movie theatres, and more. I then choose what type of Uber I’d like – whether it be sharing my ride, getting a fancier vehicle, etc., and click “Request”.
Within seconds, I’m sent a confirmation of who is picking me up, what they look like, the car type, and the license plate number. I can see how far away they are and how long they are expected to take to get to me. I can call or text my driver with a few taps, or even cancel my ride. For a smartphone-centric millennial short on time, this is a blessing.
Pick up experience
With taxis, I’d have to wait for my driver, not sure who exactly I was looking for.
With Uber, I know when my driver is arriving, can identify his or her car, license plate, and face, which is a strong safety feature. There’s also no risk of taking someone else’s cab by accident. My driver is able to recognize me too from my profile picture.
In my experience, Uber cars are cleaner and in better condition than taxis, at least in Toronto. They rarely smell like smoke or carry any other unpleasant odours. Drivers are friendly and courteous, willing to either chat or let you enjoy a quiet ride – whatever your preference. They often offer to play whatever music you like (via your smartphone playlist or favourite radio station) offer water, gum, or snacks, and check in with you on the temperature in the vehicle.
I’ve found Uber drivers to drive less aggressively, and exercise greater caution in traffic. In almost all cases, I feel safe, whereas in taxis I’m often anxious and on edge based on the driver’s style.
Cost and Ease of Payment
Ah – el dinero. In most cases, Uber outranks the competition. Your credit card is already entered and linked to your account, and payment happens automatically. Your ride ends, you hop out, and you drive indicates that the ride is over through the app. Uber automatically charges your card for the amount of your ride, and within 5 minutes you receive an email confirmation receipt.
None of this digging around in your wallet for cash while your driver blocks traffic at a green light. No ridiculous excuses around credit card machines not working. Your credit card is automatically charged the exact amount without any wasted time or energy digging up cash, getting change, etc. Simple, quick, direct. Us millennials are in general, less afraid of credit card fraud and Uber hasn’t given us any reason to change our minds.
Uber is also less expensive than taxis, at least in Toronto. Prices are about 30% less for a private Uber X ride vs. a traditional taxi, and gratuities are included.
There are a slew of other sweeteners that make an already incredible app that much better.
When have you ever seen a taxi company offer promo codes or referral bonuses? You can easily get money off your first ride, and pick up other promos along the way. This makes an already affordable option that much more so. On that note, use my promo code uberkatelauren for $20 off your first ride, or click here to have it applied when you sign up. Remember that tax and gratuities are included, so if your ride comes to $20, the entire amount will be covered.
(And if you’re looking for more promo codes, I have a bunch of food-related ones here!)
Split fare function
I haven’t used this one myself, but it’s a brilliant idea.
On the Uber website and app, you can get an estimate of the fares for all Uber options based on your pick up and drop off location.
Share ETA feature
You can share a link to your trip with anyone which enables them to see where you are and how long you’ll be. This is awesome for time-related events (surprise parties, planning when to put dinner in the oven, etc.).
In closing, Uber is one of the most game changing services I’ve experienced, and I endorse it fully. If you haven’t tried Uber yet, download it and use promo code uberkatelauren for $20 off your first ride.
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