Friday, August 15, 2014

Ride Sharing with Uber

You have probably already heard about Uber (,) a ride sharing service based in the U.S. that operates in 43 countries. It is an alternative to taxis, and easily accessible for smart phone users via an app; The appeal is both lower rates and ease of use, since you can book and pay via your smart phone .

For techno dinosaurs like me who lack a smart phone it does not seem to be an option, but it certainly sounds interesting. It would be especially attractive in places like Moscow, Zurich and Tokyo where taxis tend to be very costly, and it claims to operate in all those cities as well as many in North America and elsewhere.

There has been a lot of push-back against the service from taxi drivers and their industry, and according to a story I saw yesterday the city of Berlin has banned Uber. However, if you live in one of the many cities where Uber does operate, you could make extra money by becoming a driver for them using your own car.

I often enjoy using the gypsy taxis that tend to ply the roads in Russian cities. Will Uber put them out of business, I wonder? Or will car owners continue to offer rides to strangers for a consideration of a certain amount of rubles? I would hate to see the gypsy cabs disappear.


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