Note from Hint Mama: Thanks to Uber for sponsoring this post. I’ve been an Uber fan since I first signed up for the service at least a year ago, so that’s why I said “yes” with no hesitation when Uber approached me about writing about the service.
As a parent, time is precious. While it’s great to get away from the little one for a bit, it’s also nice to get home as fast as possible after an outing with friends.
So, wouldn’t it be great if you could afford a private driver that would appear within minutes whenever you called him or her? Well, it turns out you likely can if you have access to the method that is today’s hint – the Uber app. Uber is giving away a $100 credit to one lucky Hint Mama reader – details below.
If you’ve never heard of Uber, it’s a relatively new service that is disrupting the taxi and livery industry. It’s essentially a mobile app through which users can request a ride (Uber offers a range of ride style and price options) from a specified location, and a nearby driver is generally there within minutes. After the ride, your credit card is automatically billed for payment (no tips or cash needed).
I’m an avid user of UberX, i.e. the lowest cost Uber service that typically is roughly 20% cheaper than a taxi (riders are charged a base fare and then additional fees for time and distance). In San Francisco, where I live, cabs are notoriously hard to find and take forever to arrive when you call them. I’ve found that Uber drivers, on the other hand, typically arrive within minutes and are generally very courteous and tend to drive clean cars.
I use UberX drivers to take me to and or from events (like book club) where I want to have a drink, and my husband and I frequently rely on the service to take us to the airport or home from date nights.
Meanwhile, next time we travel to New York, we plan to skip bringing a car seat and to call an Uber instead to take us to and from the airport, and around the town. Uber, which launched in New York earlier is year, currently is piloting UberFAMILY in New York, where families in need of a car seat can pay $10 extra to get an UberX ride with a car seat installed.
“New York is currently running this on a trial basis to see how it goes, depending on that, we’ll look into rolling it out in some of our larger cities,” said an Uber spokeswoman. “We’ve seen a lot of requests for this in our larger cities, so we wanted to try it out and see how successful it can be.” Having car seats in cars is “something we’re trying to figure out how to scale,” she said.
And for those who don’t have a car, there are additional ways you can use Uber – think carpools, doctor’s appointments and Costco runs.
To be sure, you may have reservations about getting in a car with an Uber driver, who may not be affiliated with a traditional taxi or car service company (though many Uber drivers are). I did too before I signed up for the app about a year ago. But it turns out that all Uber drivers go through an extensive background check, and they must send in a host of pictures of their vehicles so Uber can confirm they’re safe for riders. In addition, both passengers and drivers rate each other.
Of course, Uber isn’t available everywhere. It’s currently in 62 cities in North America, 80 cities globally and 36 countries. Have you tried it? Share your experiences with Uber – and enter to win a $100 Uber credit – below.
This is a sponsored post written by Hint Mama about my real experience with Uber and all opinions expressed are my own. If you want to try Uber, Uber is offering $20 off the first ride to Hint Mama readers through 12/31/14. The promotion code is HintMama and it’s valid for new users only.