Uber service hits Orlando

Have you ubered?
It’s the newest thing to hit Orlando, and I couldn’t be happier.

Uber is something that has been around for quite awhile in the “big cities”.  It’s basically a taxi service app.  When you need a ride, you can check to see the drivers in your area.  You can read reviews of each driver and get detailed information about type of car and even license plate information for the security conscious.
The huge feature for me, there is a set mileage fee and you pay via the app.  So no actual cash changes hands.  This is always my fear when in a cab…that I’m going to be ripped off or robbed.
Now, you can be in a cab without cash or credit card worries.

uberX hits Orlando.

uberX hits Orlando.

For the first two weeks, Uber is offering a trial deal.  You get a free $25 dollar ride, for the first 10 trips until June 20.
We decided to try it the weekend it launched.  I was at an event downtown and my husband decided to get an uber from our house in East Orange County – near UCF.

He hailed an uber driver who pulled up in a brand new Ford Focus about 7 minutes later.  He was a student at the University of Central Florida and figured this would be a good way to make some extra cash.  He offered my husband a bottle of water (this is an Uber rule) and drove him downtown.  Final bill…. 37 cents and that included tip.  Because a 20% tip is already included.
The only bad part, the driver didn’t have an e-pass, so they took a longer route.
Another friend was heading downtown from the Windermere area.  She also decided to Uber and had a pretty similar experience.  Including the lack of e-pass.  So her driver took a REALLY long route to the destination.
Out of the four Uber trips we took during the weekend, 3 out of the 4 drivers DIDN’T have an e-pass.  I’m sure this will change as they realize they will need it.  One driver even picked up my husband in a brand new BMW.  Not too bad!

Overall, I think this service is a great addition to Orlando and I can really see it taking off as SunRail become a  bigger player in town.  I also think the new Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center will drive up Uber traffic.  It’s so much easier to take a cab instead of finding parking downtown.

Uber claims to be 36 percent cheaper than other taxi services.  I can tell you that for us, that is entirely true.  We have taken other companies to downtown from our house before.  Each time, at least $50.

So the question is….will you Uber?