Ubering With Caution

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Ubering With Caution

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Who is Uber? Uber is not a person, it’s a company. What is Uber? Uber is an app for the cell phone that works as a taxi service. Users with smartphones submit a trip request to somewhere and a driver gets a request and your trip is up for grabs for any driver to take.

According to Inc.com, Uber was founded in San Francisco in 2009 by University of California dropout Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp. This transportation network is now in 58 countries. “Nearly 8 percent of Uber drivers are veterans or from military households” Inc.com reports. There are four categories for Uber drivers: Pro (luxury cars), Crossovers (Uber drivers who once were taxi drivers),  New Enthusiasts (new drivers who Uber all of the time), and Part-timers (they drive for Uber as a side job.) Pro drivers have at least six months of driving under their belt. Uber’s goal is to increase the number of female drivers by 2020. Drivers who work for Uber do not receive discounts when they are looking for a ride themselves.

Drivers must be at least 21 years of age but riders of Uber must be 18 years of age according to Uber’s help page. There is an Uber Code of Conduct that all drivers and riders should read which includes a zero-tolerance policy for any discrimination or abuse. Riders are responsible for guests traveling with them or anyone they request a ride for.

How much money someone makes off Uber depends on how many hours and rides they complete. Uber is kind of like working on commission, because how many rides and how long the rides are depicts how much you will make in your pocket. After speaking to a few Uber drivers in the past it seems they like longer rides because the more they drive the more they get paid. If you actually put in hours and get a lot of rides you can make good money by driving for Uber. For example, one driver, named Zahidur Rahman, working part time made $53.18 an hour for 14.5 hours. Uber is a 20% commission job, there is a sales tax, and there is a $10 fee for data from the phone.

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Do you think you would use Ubers for transportation or even work for Uber? The main concern that comes into play is safety. Are Uber’s safe? When you request an Uber, and a driver is in route a picture of them pops up with their name, car, license plate, and you can see their location the whole time. The Uber app makes it easy to see who is picking you up and if it is actually that person. Another Uber fact is that the car used for ubering cannot be more than 10 years old to increase safety. Drivers can terminate your service at any time and can refuse to drive you. Some people have been kicked out of cars mid-route for cursing.

No matter what the app says though it is always a stranger that picks you up. There has been stories in the past about safety incidents with Uber. Although Uber does background checks of their drivers, Jason Dalton, an Uber driver, was charged with the murder of six people and gun charges. He was a married father with two children and no criminal record, so that can make you worry. Someone could have a normal life, and just be having a bad day and take it out on the passenger. Although Uber’s code of conduct plainly states that violence and discrimination will not be tolerated, one can not be completely sure that the code of conduct is being followed.

According to Uber’s website, “From pickup to dropoff, every trip around the world is insured—protecting riders, drivers, and everyone else on the road.” Uber also has a 24 hour incident response team available for any safety concerns. Worth noting is that substitute phone numbers are used when riders and drivers need to text each other.

To continue, anything can happen at any moment. USA Today had useful ways to stay safe with Uber. It is smart to verify the identity of the driver and their car before getting in, wait inside for your ride to come, keep in touch with your family or friends, and the last step USA Today suggests is take note of the Uber drivers rating. A college student for USA Today said, “Most taxis have obvious external markings, but Uber vehicles do not.” He is right, you have to be aware of the car picking you up.

Being aware of your surroundings can increase your safety when using Uber. But having hesitations in using Uber is valid. To Uber or not is up to you?

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