What Is Uber?
Uber is an “American international transportation network company” (Source: Wikipedia). Uber is a logistics company and sort of acts more as a travel agent than an airline, metaphorically speaking. For you as a passenger, Uber is basically a taxi service, except much more convenient and customer friendly. Compared to the often slightly ‘dusty’ old taxi service, Uber is much more flexible, offers a wide variety of services and it’s market is much more transparent.
The Uber App
The Uber App (for Android, iOS and Windows Phone) connects passengers who request an Uber ride with the nearest Uber driver at the push of a button. So no calls to the cab company and waiting in line forever anymore, waiting to be promised “will arrive in 15 minutes”.
On top of that, you don’t even need to know the exact pickup address, you can just mark it on the Uber App’s map.
How Does Uber Work For You As A Passenger?
All that is required is a smart phone with GPS capability and the Uber App. The app let’s both Uber driver and passenger know one another’s location. Once you request a ride, you, the passenger, will see your Uber ride as a little black car on the map of your Uber App, moving closer to you. You’ll never have to guess how long it’ll take, until your Uber car arrives (The famous “15 minutes” for conventional cabs ;)).
Contrary to any conventional taxi service, all payments are conveniently processed through the Uber App, completely cashless and automated. Uber takes a cut of the total Uber fare for itself, somewhere between 5-20%, and deposits the rest in your Uber driver’s account.
How Does Uber Work for You As A Driver?
For an Uber driver, Uber is essentially a ‘passenger referral service’. The driver offers his Uber “taxi” services, and the Uber App connects him with a passenger in need of a ride.
The requirements you need to fulfill to become an Uber driver are relatively simple:
- Be 21 or older,
- Pass a DMV and background check (which means have a clean criminal and driving record)
- and own a car that is insured and meets the Uber car requirements.
Check out our guide about how to become an Uber driver here.
How Did Uber Start?
The beginnings of Uber take us back to somewhere around 2008 when the co-founders, Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp were attending LeWeb conference in Paris. They were simply annoyed at how difficult it was to hail a cab in the rain and loaded with luggage. Sound familiar? Yeah, just one of the simple, annoying, crappy little everyday things in life.
Travis and Garrett started brainstorming about ways to solve the “universal” issue of finding rides at the right time, in the right place for the right price. Originally, the company was founded as ‘UberCab” in 2009. Soon after, a prototype of an Uber app that would later revolutionize our way of getting around, was up and running for the iPhone.
In 2010, Uber Cab already had a couple of black cars running in New York City to test the service. It wasn’t long, until Uber went from only a few users, to being a big hit. Shortly after, San Francisco followed.
In 2012, Uber introduced UberX to its fleets in New York and San Francisco, and from there rapidly expanded to different cities and countries. Giving Uber users car options was the first push into becoming a much broader platform. Today, Uber is available in 58 countries and about 300 cities worldwide.
What Are the Different Uber Services?
- UberX: Uber’s most popular and cheapest service.
- UberXL: Like UberX except it seats 6+ passengers.
- UberSELECT / UberPLUS: Mid-tier option.
- UberBLACK: Black luxury sedans. “Your own private driver, on-demand”.
- UberSUV: Like UberBLACK except it seats 6+ passengers.
- UberLUX: High-end luxury sedans. Most expensive option.
How Do I Download Uber?
Sign up with your credit card or with PayPal, and you’re all set to hail your first Uber ride!
Enter my Uber promo code and get $20 off your first ride!
- Go to the promotions tab on the left hand menu and enter this code into the app > mcc25
- Or use this link to get your free Uber ride on the website.
Lyft is another ridesharing service, available in many cities. If you haven’t used Lyft before, enter my promo code and get $20 off your first ride.
How to use a Lyft promo code
- Download the Lyft app on the App Store or the Play Store.
- Go to the promotions tab on the left hand menu and enter this code into the app > AARON848
- Or use this link to get your free Lyft ride on the website.
Is Uber Free?
As a first time Uber rider you get $20 off your ride (or a free Uber ride, if it’s less than $20), if you use my promo code: “mcc25”
All other Uber rides cost something 😉
If you haven’t used Lyft yet, sign up, enter my Lyft promo code for your first ride and get $20 off: “AARON848”