A True-and-False Test About the Uber Experience


I need a smartphone to use Uber.

True. In order to summon a driver, you must launch the Uber app on your iPhone or Android.

I have no idea how much my ride will cost.

False. Once you establish your pickup location, a fare approximation will appear on your phone. However, weather and traffic can affect the final fare.

I need cash to pay the driver.

False. The experience is meant to be cashless, so the fare is processed electronically on your smartphone.

I need cash to tip the driver.

False. Gratuity is included in the fare.

Uber drivers don’t go through background checks.

False, sort of. Uber does subject its drivers to background checks, but many critics argue that they’re not as thorough as those conducted by taxi companies. When confronted with legislation both nationally and internationally that would require more stringent background checks, Uber has fought aggressively against the measures.

Uber will pick me up at the airport or at my hotel on the Strip.

False, but could become true. When Uber launched in October, drivers were not allowed to pick up at the airport or on the Strip. However, company officials are currently in talks with casino owners and McCarran officials about access.

I have no idea who will pick me up.

False. While you might not personally know your driver, once the app confirms your pickup, his or her name, license plate, phone number and rating will appear on your phone.

Uber can be less expensive than a taxi.

True. Since Uber is not subjected to the same regulations as taxi companies, it can adjust its rates based on demand. It has been known to drop rates below that of competitors.

My driver and I are covered by auto insurance provided by Uber.

True. Uber has commercial liability insurance that will cover a passenger during a ride, but Uber does not cover drivers while the app is running and they search for passengers. Several companies are now offering products to cover that gap, and recently passed laws that set insurance standards for drivers.

I should quit my job and become a full-time Uber driver.

False. Many are romanced by the idea of making your own hours, but you should think twice before giving up your day job. One Philadelphia journalist went undercover as an Uber driver in May, and found that, after subtracting expenses (gas, insurance, etc.) and the 28 percent that Uber takes, she ended up earning $9.34 an hour—well under the average taxi driver wage of $30,000 a year.

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