by Charmaine Houck
Unless you are in NYC, the familiar Yellow Cab may not be as accessible as it once was. Today services like Lift and Uber are making their mark, even in NYC. This past summer, while traveling to Denver on personal business, I downloaded the Uber app (again) and decided to give it a whirl. I had previously downloaded the app thinking that I would use it on a trip to San Francisco but my husband was not okay with riding in a 'stranger's' car. Not having my husband along for this trip, I decided to give it a go.
As an event professional, I would suggest Uber to meeting and conference goers. I often travel in a whirlwind - make a plan, fly in, do as much as possible, and fly out. If you happen to land in a town you have never seen and want to explore an area further after your evening’s events, don't hesitate to use Uber to get out and enjoy the city. Locals are willing to talk about their favorite destinations, sometimes great places off the touristy path. And if you are willing to tip a little more, your host driver might be willing to show you landmarks and sights of interest along the way.
Here is what you need to know:
- Make sure that the car and person picking you up match that of what was listed on your Uber ride acceptance.
- Be aware of ‘surge’ times - During rush times or special events, Uber rates can increase drastically based on demand, be cautious and always check the estimated price of your trip. If there are questions, feel free to message your driver.
- Uber drivers are required to have full background checks. If you are unsure, attempt to find a ride buddy or make a phone call while traveling, so that someone you know is on the phone and knows where you are at all times during your ride. (I have, more recently, called my husband and discussed my day with him while explaining where I was headed and the places I am passing in general conversation.)
There is also the feature of splitting a ride with someone, so don't forget to ask your colleagues if you want to go exploring during your downtime, or share that ride to the airport.