Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Uber and Lyft

If you haven't started using Uber or Lyft, you're missing out big-time. Whether to take it to or from the airport at 1/3 the price of a taxi, or to take it to and from a restaurant so you can have a drink without worrying about getting behind the wheel, it is like a Xmas miracle. It is a snap to set up (just download the app and it will take you through the few steps but be sure you are on cellular data and not wi-fi) and easy to use (the app will do virtually everything for you). You don't have to worry about what the trip will cost (you'll know ahead of time before you confirm), the wait time usually is under 4 minutes and you can schedule up to a week in advance, you'll know what the car's make and model before it pulls up as well as the driver's name and picture, and you will get to rate the driver and the vehicle and the driver gets to rate you. With Uber, you cannot tip on the app so any tip will be in cash (there is a split among users whether or not to tip, but it certainly is not mandatory); with Lyft, you can tip through the app. At the airport, when you click on to Uber, it will tell you where the pickup spot is. Use Uber X for 2-3 people and Uber XL for 4 people.

Some people have eschewed Uber because they object to the independent contractor status of the drivers. They are not Uber employees and so they get no health insurance or other benefits of employment and have to cover all their expenses themselves. Uber takes 25% of the fare (or 20% from drivers having reached certain plateaus). But, what such objectors do not realize is that virtually all cab companies work effectively the same way where the cab drivers own their own cabs (or medallions) and are not employees of the cab company.

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