Imperial IPAs are mighty big beers. Be safe. Click the Uber logo to get $30 off your first ride.

Party like a Rock Star; Get Home Safe

Seattle beer geeks love Uber, the tavern on Aurora Avenue just north of Green Lake. But there is another Uber in Seattle worthy of your adoration, especially right now as we are in the throes of Seattle Beer Week.  The Uber of which I speak is a service that guarantees you will get home safe. I am talking about the Uber transportation app for your smart phone. Thanks to Uber, if you click here to sign up, you’ll $20 off your first trip. You can also download and sign up from Uber’s apps (use the links below to do it directly from your phone).

Understand that this post is not a paid advertisement; it is more like a public service announcement. You, my fellow beer drinker, need to know about Uber. My wife and I are huge fans of Uber and people frequently ask us what we’re talking about when we say things like, “We’ll just Uber home from the beer festival.”

Allow me to explain in simple terms.

Uber is a transportation application for your smart phone. You use Uber to order a driver and car to get you home safely. In the end, you’ll find the cost about the same as a taxicab. There are important differences that make Uber much better than a cab. (I don’t mean to hate on taxicabs; it is just that Uber is better.)

1) Since you have an account set up with Uber, you don’t pay cash. You don’t even tip. You order your car using your phone, the car shows up in a timely fashion, takes you home (or wherever), and you get out. That’s it. You’re done. No pay. No tip. Just stumble to your door. Uber emails you a receipt shortly after you’re dropped off. The receipt is really nice if you have a reason to need a receipt.

2) The cars are nicer. Much nicer. The typical Uber car is a Lincoln Towncar. It’s a bit like being a rockstar. Often, the driver will even have bottled water waiting for you as your slightly inebriated body sinks into the plush and comfy leather seat. One driver even had a bowl of mixed nuts waiting for us. Very nice!

The car options include:

Black Car: The classic “black car option” is the default. Choose this and either a high-end sedan or SUV will be curbside in minutes. Note: choosing “Black” and being picked up by an SUV will not charge you the SUV rates. Seats up to 4 people.

SUV: When you’re rolling with more than four people, request only SUVs, for a higher rate. Seats up to 6 people.

UBERx: The convenience of Uber at a lower price with hybrid and mid-range cars in a variety of colors.

The cars are always clean, quiet, and comfortable. Rock star!

3) You know when your car will show up. You can even get an estimate of how much your ride will cost. When you open the app and pin your pickup location, Uber will tell you that the nearest available car is 5 minutes away, for example. After you order your car, you can track its progress and see exactly where the car is at. Behold the miracle of GPS and smart phones.

I’ve never waited more than 12 or 15 minutes for a car. Usually it’s less, especially when I’m in the city. Example: Last night at 8:45 we ordered an Uber car from Pike Brewing Company. A moment later I received the text message telling me that our car was one minute away,  and the it arrived. Good thing we were already at the curb when we ordered our car. Rock star!

Map shows the area of “most reliable service.” Once in the car, the drive will take you wherever you want to go.

Point number 3 above is the most important for me. When you call and request a taxicab the dispatcher gives you an estimate as to how long it will take for your ride to show up. They dispatch a cab and it starts heading your direction. Maybe it gets sidetracked or flagged down by another fare. Maybe not. Taxicabs have burned me too many times. I have waited hopelessly and on more than one occasion found myself walking home from the bar in the middle of the night because my cab never showed up.

When you open the application on your phone, you drag the pin to your pickup location. You can see the location of the nearest cars.

Seattle sucks for taxicabs. For whatever reason, we just can’t get it right. Unless you are in the heart of the city, and it is not a busy time of night for taxicabs, your chances of flagging down a cab in Seattle are just about nil.

Uber fixes all of that. Once you order your car, your driver is on the way. You get a text message telling you so. You can contact your driver directly and vice versa. Your driver will not ignore the dispatch or pull over to pick up a group of 3 people who look like they will be a better fare. This is Uber. It hooks you up with Towncar services–independent businesspeople licensed by the state to provide this service. Towncar operators work under a different set of rules than cabs. They are cars-for-hire. The drivers is akin to a chauffeur and not a cabbie. In this game, good service equals success.

Another thing I should point out, after your Uber ride is done,  the driver and passenger can actually rate each other. I am not sure how it works on the driver’s side, but I’d guess that if you’re a problematic passenger and have a low rating, some driver’s might not choose to accept the assignment when you request a car. They treat you well, you treat them well in return.

Given the fact that the cost of an Uber ride home is about the same as, or less than, a taxicab, I have no idea if I will ever rely on that mode of transportation again.

Simply put, my experience has been this:

  • Cost is about the same or less than a cab, especially since you don’t tip when you use Uber.
  • I don’t need to have cash, or wait while the cabbie fumbles for change hoping I’ll just say “keep it.”
  • The cars are much, much nicer.
  • When I leave the bar at night, I enjoy feeling like a rock star and having a fancy black car waiting for me, with a well-dressed driver holding the door open.
  • Uber cars smell better.

In closing, Uber rules. Huge fan. Ringing endorsement. Sign up now. Then go get the app. Use it. Be safe.

If you’re too cheap to pay for cabs or Uber, never mind. I understand. That’s your business. I’m just trying to help you get home safe.

From Your Phone

To get the $10 credit on your new account, use this invite code: qvzrk

If you’re on a iPhone right now, click here.

If you’re on an Android right now, click here.

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