If you live in almost any major city, you have heard of or taken a ride with the disruptive transportation company called Uber. But how does Uber work for passengers?
Uber is a rideshare company that makes it easy for people to go from point A to point B easily and safely. The company does this by using individual’s private cars for driving riders and paying them for the privilege.
This article will talk about how Uber works for passengers. If you are new to the app, this is one piece you might want to read to understand how things work.
What Is Uber?
Uber was launched in 2012 and has since put the transportation industry on its head. Uber has a presence in over 700 cities worldwide and has over 3 million drivers worldwide! As a traveler or commuter, you can bank on being able to get an Uber ride almost everywhere you go in the world.
For quite some time, Uber’s catchphrase was “Your Private Driver.” This, quite simply, explains what Uber is and what it does. Uber is a private car service. It transports passengers from wherever they are to wherever they want to go. But instead of using a fleet of vehicles and employed drivers, Uber works with independent contractors who use their own personal vehicles.
Another interesting twist to the Uber model is that the platform uses GPS and digital imaging technologies. These are useful in tracking drivers’ movements and estimating your time of arrival. The process has been simplified and made easy. Now, the next stop on this ride is explaining how you can use the Uber app.
How Does Uber Work For Passengers?
Uber was created to make it easier for you to move than regular taxis. Using the Uber app is easy. If you are considering using Uber and aren’t sure how it works, here is a step-by-step guide on how to get started with Uber:
– Download the App
As a passenger, the Uber app is where your Uber journey starts. Note that there are different apps for riders and drivers. The first step is to go to your app store (either android or iOS) and download the Uber rider app.
After this is done you will need to register on the app and create an account. You will be required to provide your email address and phone number. An authentication code will be sent to your phone to complete the process.
The Uber app will then ask for your card details. This is so payment for your rides is seamless and you won’t have to handle cash. No need to worry about meters either. The price is already estimated and the cost will simply be deducted from your account at the end of the trip.
– Request For Your Ride
Before you open your Uber app to request your ride, you should make sure that you are ready. You may be used to calling for a taxi and requesting a ride “as soon as possible” and waiting anywhere between 20 minutes to 1 hour.
With Uber, it takes an average of about 7 minutes for your ride to arrive. This depends on where you are and what time of the day it is. So, you might want to be dressed and made up before opening that app. Keeping your driver waiting might give you lower rider ratings or cost you more, in some cases.
When you are ready, open the app and request your ride. Remember to turn on your location so the app can use the GPS feature on your phone. You can see when a driver accepts your ride and track their movement on the app. You will also see the time it will take them to arrive to your location.
How can you make it easy for your driver to find you? If you are in a public place, you can call your driver and tell them the color of the shirt you are wearing. You can also tell them exactly where you are. Provide anything distinctive about you and your exact location.
It is also a good idea to input your destination address in the app when you order a ride. It gives your driver a few minutes to plan the best route to your destination. The map also helps with this task.
– During Your Trip
Now, your driver has arrived and you are about to enter your Uber ride, here are few things to note. First, make sure the plate number in your app matches the one on the car that has arrived to pick you up. Also, call out your driver’s name so you know you are in the right car. You can also check that the picture of the driver on the app matches the actual driver. These are simple security checks that can keep you safe.
What if you are at home and you need a ride but aren’t sure if you want the Uber driver to know where you live? You can request a pickup a little ways down the street. Uber uses GPS, so you don’t really need a physical address to order a ride. You could even put in the alternate location ahead of time so you won’t have to wait. There is a location pin that you can move around on the map.
Okay, you are now safely inside your Uber ride and the driver has started the trip. You probably know that you can rate your driver at the end of the trip. But do you know that it goes both ways? Your driver also gets to rate you.
If you keep getting bad ratings, you might be barred from using the app. Also, drivers might not want to pick you up if they can see from your ratings that you could be a troublemaker. Nobody wants to deal with rude, violent, drunk, or impaired passengers. So, remember to be pleasant and avoid heated arguments with your driver.
– End Of Your Trip
You have enjoyed your Uber ride, hopefully, and you are at the end of your trip. Of course, you get to rate your driver and should keep it as fair as possible. Unless you had a horrible ride, you should keep it at 5 stars (the highest rating).
You could also give more information about the ride on the app. If you have given the driver five stars, you will be asked what you liked about the ride. If you gave a rating less than 5 stars, you will be asked how the driver can improve for future rides.
Once the trip has ended, you can exit the vehicle. You do not have to wait around to sort out the payment. The fare will be deducted from your account, automatically.
You can also tip your driver if you had a pleasant trip. The Uber app asks you if you want to do this at the end of the trip. It is not mandatory, but is just good manners. Uber doesn’t get a cut from tips, it all goes to the driver and can help offset operational costs for the driver. You can even pay your tip in cash.
How Much Do Uber Rides Cost?
You may be wondering how much Uber rides cost, especially if you only just decided to start using Uber. You may not be sure if it will save you money compared to traditional taxis. Is it cheaper than driving your own personal car, or taking public transportation?
The simple answer is, it depends. The costs vary. This is because there are several factors that affect how much you pay for each ride.
Here they are:
– Upfront Fares
This is a major advantage that Uber has over traditional taxis. You get to see an estimate of how much you will pay for the ride before you start. Upfront fares for Uber are determined using the following information:
- A Base Rate: This is the least amount that you can pay for an Uber ride. As long as you order one, you have to pay at least the base amount. This makes sure that drivers get to make some money, even from short trips. The base rate varies, depending on where you are ordering the Uber.
- Rates for estimated Time and Distance of the Trip: These charges are for the estimated distance of the trip. This can be calculated ahead of time using GPS. It also includes the charge for the amount of time it takes to get to your destination. This varies though. There could be traffic or other obstructions which could mean more time, which will mean paying more.
- Demand for Rides: This is an important factor that can affect the price of your Uber rides. During periods of high ride demand, Uber increases their fare rates. This is called surge pricing. The price could be double, triple, or any number of multiples depending on where and when.
– Post-Trip Fares
In some places, local regulations make it impossible for Uber to show the price estimate for your trip upfront. In those instances, you will get a notification at the end of the trip showing how much was charged. This is the only difference between these instances and upfront trip fares, everything else remains the same.
Using all the factors explained above, Uber estimates that the cost of an average trip is between $14 and $19. If you are still curious and want to estimate fares for yourself, you can use a fare estimate tool.
To use the fare estimate tool, all you need to do is put in two addresses in a location that Uber operates. Uber will then show you the estimated cost of their services in that area. You can check it out here.
Another good fare estimator you can use is Ridester Fare Estimator. This allows you to compare Uber and Lyft estimated fares in the same area and distance.
Frequently Asked Questions By Uber Riders
Now you know how to take an Uber ride and how much it would cost you. But, you probably have questions and would like more information.
Can I Schedule My Uber Ride?
Yes, in fact, you can schedule your Uber ride up to 30 days in advance. This is especially useful for appointments that you have to be on time for, like catching a flight. To learn how to schedule your Uber ride, you can read more here.
Is Uber Wheelchair And Pet Accessible?
Yes, there is an Uber service known as UberAccess. If you order a ride in a supported city, you will get a driver that is trained to handle a wheelchair. They will also be driving a van.
As for pets, Uber drivers are not allowed to have pets in their cars according to Uber policy. The exception is if they are part of the UberPet service or if the pet is a service animal.
Nonetheless, depending on the driver’s preference, your Uber driver could allow you to bring your pet along for the ride. But, it is courteous to ask in advance if that would be acceptable. This is because some drivers cannot have pets in their vehicles.
Are There Age Restrictions For Riders?
Yes, there is an age restriction for Uber riders. You need to be 18 years or older to order an Uber ride. If you are not 18, you will need another person who is 18 years or older in the car with you.
Can I Take My Uber To Another City?
This is entirely up to the driver. Uber’s primary focus is intra-city transport. But, your driver can decide to take you to other cities if they are so inclined. You will usually have to pay a lot for this, though. This is because a return fare is not guaranteed for those drivers.
On the Uber website there is a disclaimer that trips could automatically end after 4 hours. But if this happens, you can simply request another trip.
Can I Pay Cash For My Uber Trip?
Generally, no, although there are a few countries where you can do this. But in most cases, you can only pay for Uber trips with your credit card. Why you might ask? That’s one of the advantages of Uber, isn’t it? Drivers and riders don’t have to carry wads of cash around. It is both safe and convenient.
According to Uber, the platform was designed to be an entirely cashless experience, in most cities. Of course, you can tip your driver in cash, if you so wish.
Can I Request An Uber Ride For Someone Else?
Yes, you can do this, but you will have to make sure two things are in order. First, you have to note that the ride is for someone else and input the contact details for that person. Second, that person cannot be in the same location as you.
To do this, you can open up the Uber app, request a ride, and select the person’s location. Uber will ask you who the ride is for, click “Someone Else” and then enter the person’s contact information. Then confirm the contact information and enter the person’s destination. Finally, click “Confirm Rider” and then “Request” your ride.
The person you are requesting the ride for does not have to be an Uber app user. They will receive text messages on the progress of the ride. You will be charged for the ride, though, and you will also be responsible for the conduct of the person.
This is a great service to take advantage of when you need to take someone to a place they’ve never been to before. Especially if that place is where you are. You can be sure that they will not get lost and you can track their progress.
That’s exactly how Uber works for passengers. It is an easy and convenient way to move around in your city.