Entering the Transport Revolution

Hurray! I’m sure you’ve heard some about the ride share services Uber and Lift lately, as they’re kind of taking the country by storm. The basic concept is that you put your pick-up location and destination into the app, (it said iPhone and Android, so I don’t know if other platforms support it), and it gives you a predicted fare and sends a driver. Your credit card is also linked, meaning that you don’t have to worry about paying the driver anything.

Well according to this article, Uber has now made it to my adopted town of Durham! Charlotte, my actual hometown, has had the service available for some time now.

It took me just a bit longer than after I’d completed the article to download the app to my phone and sign up. Registering was easy, and quite accessible with VoiceOver. I did experience a moment of trepidation though, when it said “your Uber ride will be there in two minutes”. Huh? I hope I hadn’t requested one at the moment, as I’m not planning to go anywhere! No one has shown up though, to my knowledge, so I guess all is good.

One of the coolest features I’ve seen so far is that you can attach a photo of yourself in the app, so the driver will know how you look. I imagine this would be very helpful for blind folks, in particular. And of course, it’s easy enough to do with the iPhone. All I had to do is remember the timestamps in my camera roll that I wanted to use. If I got it right, I chose the snappy picture taken of me when I visited NPR last summer.

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And that’s it for now. I hope to try and use them when I have to go pick up my refurbished hearing aid. At present, it costs $23 to get from my job or home to the audiology clinic, so anything less than that will be very much welcome. I’m wondering though if they’ll transport me to just over the Chapel Hill line though? I suppose I should try and see how that works, bu if not it won’t crush me.

I know that many taxi drivers find this service to be upsetting and are attempting to stop it. But, I think they’re bringing an innovative, 21st-Century approach to the problems I wrote about in my recent taxi cab post. It says in the article that drivers are vetted and checked for insurance, so hopefully they’ll be as safe as anyone else. I think the thing I’m most curious about is the quality of vehicle I’ll see. Someone’s old, rusted pickup? Or a car with French fry boxes and kids toys that I must sweep from the seat. In any event, it should be fun!

The article notes that both Uber and Lift are available in Raleigh, while Uber has expanded to Greensboro, Chapel Hill, and a couple of other smaller NC cities. If it’s in your area, how have you found it to be thus far. I suspect that it could vary a lot based on all sorts of factors. More once I’ve taken it.

One Response to Entering the Transport Revolution

  1. Pingback: Another Needed Innovation | A Blind Man's Journey

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