CAR SERVICE WITH STYLE
With all the talk these days about phantom cabs and unlicensed cabs, throwing the likes of Uber, along with Lyft and Sidecar, into the mix, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
I downloaded the Uber app, drank to my heart’s content, since driving home wasn’t going to be an issue, and hailed a cab, as it were, more like a town car, via my iPhone. It was really easy. The clean and shiny car came instantaneously, I didn’t have to deal with a cabbie yapping on his cell phone and there was no money to change hands as payment and tip were already done via the app.
So go figure, when a good thing arises, people line up to take a swing at it, and recently, Los Angeles transportation officials joined a growing number of municipal regulators attempting to stop the cyber fun. They sent Uber, as well as Lyft and Sidecar, two other companies that similarly find fares via smartphone apps, a cease-and-desist letter demanding that its drivers stop picking up passengers. To show their support, hundreds of cabbies circled City Hall and honked their horns arguing that Uber, and the other companies, should be regulated under the same set of rules as traditional taxis. Of course, these are the same people that bitched when the Metro was built and wouldn’t allow the trains to reach the airport—a huge plunder on the City’s part.
Officially, Uber’s L.A. Community Manager Cat Sampson said, “We’re fully legal in California and we have a signed agreement with the California Public Utilities commission explicitly stating that Uber services, including uberX, are authorized to operate statewide.”
I’m guessing State signed contracts trump City squabbles, but I’m sure this won’t be resolved without a fight, but in the meantime, I’ve been riding Uber, enjoying the plush rides. From what I’ve gathered, riding in an Uber Prius is cheaper than a taxi, a Town Car is about the same, and an SUV is slightly more expensive. My lone Uber problem arose when I used the app for a car and an SUV showed up minutes later, which wasn’t what I was planning on. The base fare on a Prius is $3; minimum fare is $5 and there’s a $5 fee for a cancellation, and remember, they have your credit card info!
Use Code 971k6 and receive $10 off your first Uber ride.