We attended the Uber launch party a couple of weeks ago, and while we were really excited to have them in Nashville, we’d never actually used Uber. We decided to give-it-a-go and report our findings.
If you’ve never heard of it, Uber is a new transportation service in town. The service is already running in over 30 cities in America and 25 other countries. It’s basically like having a personal car service. You order a car, they pick you up, and take you where you want to go. All communication is done through an app on your phone, but you and the driver can call each other with scrambled numbers to communicate (the driver will not have your real cell number).
Here are the 5 Things You Should Know About Uber before you use it.
1. They Are Offering a Killer Deal for New-Users!
If you haven’t signed up for the Uber app yet, you better get on it. The new user offer of 100 FREE UberX RIDES (up to $25 per ride) for the first two weeks has expired, but you can still get an exclusive offer via Nashville Guru through February 12, 2014 if you use the “nashvillegurugo” promo code. Yes, it sounds too good to be true, but it’s true. Sign-up before Wednesday, February 12th at midnight to get the deal. Your two week promo starts when you take your first ride. The promo is applied automatically when you sign-up, so you don’t have to do anything special. Your free credits from the Nashville Guru promo code will be valid anytime on or after Friday, February 14, 2014. If you want to make sure you are getting the deal, your driver should be able to verify your free credits.
If you missed the 100 free rides, you can still get one free ride up to $30 here.
2. No Tipping – It’s a Cashless System
Uber works on a cashless system which means tipping isn’t necessary. You can tip if you feel like your driver was awesome, but it isn’t expected. You will enter your credit or debit card information in the Uber app when you sign-up and it will be charged at the completion of your ride. No transaction takes place between you and the driver. It’s really nice to just hop out of the car without fooling with totals, change, or signing stuff.. Oh yeah, you can also split the fare with a friend if they’re in the car and also an Uber user.
3. Estimate Your Fare Before You Even Order the Car
What’s worse than getting in a cab and having no idea what the ride will cost? With Uber, you can see the estimated fare before you even order the car. For example, our estimated cost was $16 to $19 and it ended up costing $16 on the way there and $17 on the way back — so, in our case, it was very accurate!
4. See Where Your Driver is on the App
Once you’ve hit “Request uberX” on the app, you can see where the driver is on the map. So it may say estimated pickup time is 5 minutes, but it’s nice to actually see when they are pulling into the neighborhood or turning onto your street. The driver also manually clicks a button to let you know when he or she is arriving, which notifies you via text and on the app, so no more standing in the cold rain looking for your driver.
5. Driving Their Own Vehicle
Uber hires drivers, and they use their own vehicle to transport you. The cars do not have any markings, so it kind of feels like a friend is picking you up. The cars do have to meet a criteria, though, such as it must be a newer model with four doors. The two cars we rode in were very nice and clean. The drivers were also extremely professional and friendly.
We definitely recommend checking out this new transportation option in Nashville. Uber is still figuring out the Nashville market, so wait times might vary until they have the correct number of drivers to meet demand. There were people that had some issues getting cars at peak hours last weekend, especially with so many people using their 100 free rides. Overall, we had a great experience and will be using it to get around the city.