Uber Choices

I’m still a green-as-grass novice when it comes to Uber, and I’m trying to figure things out.  Like, which option to choose when I trigger the app and am offered different choices for the ride.

1141770989.jpg.0There’s obviously a price difference between the options, but I’m not quite sure what the price differences fully mean.  I’m assuming that some of the more expensive options feature larger cars and SUVs, so if you’re part of a group you’d want to choose them.  But, are there other differences lurking in the price points, too?  Does the age and condition of the car, the cleanliness of the vehicle, the skill and experience and ratings of the driver, or the presence of a pine tree air freshener hanging from the rear view mirror, enter into the price as well?  I’m sure there is a website somewhere that explains all of this, but life’s too short to spend time trying to puzzle out pricing for what is supposed to be an easy, convenient service.

I’m only the Uber decision-maker when I’m traveling by myself; if other people are part of the travel equation I let them make the call.  But when I’ve got to decide, I invariably choose the cheapest option.  I’m a cheapskate by nature, and I figure I’m only going to be in the car for a short period of time.  Given that fact, the car would need to be a real mess before I’d regret going for the cheapest option — which happened once, incidentally.  I figure that Uber is like a taxi, and if you’re flagging down a cab you pretty much take whatever stops to pick you up.

But I also think by taking the cheapest option I am helping out the driver.  For many people, including recent arrivals in the Columbus area, Uber seems to be a kind of gateway job.  They might not be able to afford the biggest and newest cars, but they’re trying to make a go of it.  Why not give my money to them, rather than to somebody driving a roomier and more luxurious vehicle?  And include a tip, too.

Weird Signage

IMG_2257Here’s another weird sign for you, found in the back seat of a New Orleans taxicab.  Consider the notice at the bottom of the sign.  Is it really necessary?  Why would anyone think that the killing of a taxicab driver might not be a first-degree murder in the state of Louisiana?   I know Louisiana is different, but do visitors there really think they can knock off cab drivers with impunity?  It makes you wonder:  are there similar signs in buses and on streetcars?

Or perhaps the people who came up with the list of the 14 things to which all Louisiana taxi passengers are entitled realized that most cabs will fall short — A “noise-free environment”?  A driver who obeys all traffic laws?  A driver who is “neat” and “well-groomed”?  Seriously? — and wanted to make sure that people didn’t take the vindication of their rights into their own hands.