5 Ways Uber Is Really Different From a Regular Taxi

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Author's Note: 5 Ways Uber Is Really Different from a Taxi

Right smack in the middle of this assignment, I got a chance to try out Uber for myself. (Uber isn't offered in the city where I live because local regulations so far prohibit it.) I was travelling for work, so I used Uber to get from the Detroit airport to my hotel. I got a new driver in a new-ish Toyota Camry. My luggage did indeed go in the trunk next to his kids' toys, which was oddly reassuring. How bad could a young dad be? I gave him the address of my hotel downtown, one of the largest in the city and also the world headquarters of GM. You know, the auto maker. In Detroit. My driver, like a lot of suburban dwellers across the land, didn't really go downtown much, so he didn't know where my hotel was. We took a couple of wrong turns. We circled a roundabout. Twice. But he was so nice, and we put our heads together to successfully drop me off at my hotel. I didn't ding him in my short starred review for being new on the Uber job, but I did mention his newness on the job. In the end, it was more pleasant than a cab and roughly the same price. I'd give it another go in another city. But I took a shuttle back to the airport when it was time to leave.

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  • Flegenheimer, Matt. "$1 Million Medallions Stifling the Dreams of Cabdrivers." The New York Times. Nov. 14, 2013. (Sept. 3, 2014) http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/15/nyregion/1-million-medallions-stifling-the-dreams-of-cabdrivers.html
  • Streitfeld, David. "Rough Patch for Uber Service's Challenge to Taxis." The New York Times. Jan. 26, 2014. (Sept. 3, 2014) http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/27/technology/rough-patch-for-uber-services-challenge-to-taxis.html
  • Uber. "Comparing Uber to Cabs' Hidden Costs." Uber.com. (Sept. 3, 2014) http://blog.uber.com/2011/04/11/uberdata-the-hidden-cost-of-cabs/
  • Uber. "Uber Background Checks." Uber.com. April 25, 2014. (Sept. 12, 2014) http://blog.uber.com/driverscreening
  • Velasco, Schuyler. "In Uber vs. taxi companies, local governments play referee." Christian Science Monitor. July 7, 2014. (Sept. 3, 2014) http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/2014/0707/In-Uber-vs.-taxi-companies-local-governments-play-referee-video