Is Uber Worth it? The app-powered, stylish alternative to taxis

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Uber: The Dappered-Style Taxi?

Know that you can save $10 off your first fare by signing up through this referral link. Using that referral link will not benefit anyone employed by Dappered. Signing up through that link will provide a credit to the person who first introduced me (Joe) to Uber on a trip. And that person is a she (a friend of a friend). So, even if we do use Uber again together, I won’t be mooching off her credits.

Taxis are fine. But having a sleek black sedan or SUV pull up minutes after touching a button on your smartphone is a whole other world. And that other world is accessible by those of us in the rank and file through an app called Uber.

Uber is the next level of transportation service, and their black cars and SUVs are now in operation in 24 of the largest metro areas in the US. So even if you don’t have Uber in your home town, you might be headed to a city that has it.

You download the app, input some information as well as a form of payment, make sure your GPS is on, and you’re set. Turn on the app and the gps shows you where you are, and the images of black Uber vehicles appear on the map, driving around near you. Need a pickup? It’ll tell you how long your wait is for the next available Uber driver to show up. On a recent trip to Washington D.C., Uber’s standard black Lincoln Town car was never more than 5 or 6 minutes away.

Uber ScreenOpen the app , Uber shows you where their cars are, and you click for a pick up.

Push a button, your driver is confirmed, his picture comes up, and he’ll call if there’s any difficulty in locating you in a crowd. Just wait for the black sedan to pull up and you’re on your way.

And it’s impressive as hell. Especially if you pull this off with someone who doesn’t know about Uber. Points. Major points.

But how much is this going to cost?

Here’s a sample scenario from the ride back after visiting the Suitsupply store in Washintgon D.C. We were staying at a friends house, it was rush hour, and we were headed back to the Columbia Heights neighborhood:

 

Uber Fare: $24.00 (tip included)

uber example

We were picked up within 4 minutes, water/mints in the back of the car (not all have this), the driver was courteous and got the door for Mrs. Dappered (before I even had a chance) and whipped us through rush hour traffic like a pro. The streets were packed, so it did take almost 20 minutes to get back to a friend’s house where we were staying. The driver asked which route we’d prefer to take, and he suggested we avoid Dupont Circle at that time of day. Once we were dropped off, there was no exchange of cash. You don’t tip. It’s all done through your credit card. You’re texted updates of when your Uber driver is en route and you’re then emailed a receipt once your ride is complete.

 

Estimated Cab Cost: $13.85 – $18.83 (tip not included)

taxi georgetown to washington heights

Chances are this would be closer to $18.83 (the high end) since it was rush hour and traffic was awful (the $13.85 scenario is for a 13 min ride… it took us 20 mins.) but yes… a taxi is noticeably cheaper. You’re paying for the upgraded, on-demand service. But once you factor in a couple bucks for a tip, it starts to get close.

The bottom line: This is a guess, but it’s an educated guess… It probably costs between 15% and 30% more to use Uber instead of a Taxi depending on your tipping habits. But you can download the app and get fare quotes in your city in advance. All you have to do is enter the pick up and drop off location. So would you use it? Have you already? Is it worth the extra cost? Leave it all below.
Top Photo: Vincent Desjardins

Uber in North AmericaNorth American cities with Uber.