Uber Convenient, or A Total Disaster?

Erin Lucey, Staff Writer

As the dependence on smart phones rapidly increases, it appears that there really is an app for anything you need. Smart phones have become the central aspect of our lives, helping us communicate, plan, research, and now, even hitch a ride. “Uber” is  a  new form of taxi service that allows customers to sign up for a ride using an app that already has their credit card information stored from when they download. Within minutes, a driver (behind the wheel of his/her own car) arrives to pick the customers up. Although it sounds like the invention of a genius, there are several issues arising that question the company. Whether this idea is totally brilliant or pure trouble is becoming quite controversial.

Uber is rapidly gaining popularity as it continues to spread to new cities around the world. The fact that no money is exchanged in the car makes rides both convenient and safe, and helps customers ignore the high rates that uber charges per ride as they do not physically see the money being spent. Because customers are not arriving or departing in a bright yellow cab, many feel that getting a ride in the everyday car of an Uber driver may appear more classy. Drivers have freedom in their hours, as they are able to pick up customers wherever they are, whenever they have time and see where Uber-users are  from the app. The iPhones that equip Uber drivers display a map of “hot spots” where many Uber users are located to lead drivers to the places where customers are plentiful. They do not have to deal with the problem of standard taxi drivers, who must cruise around in circles in search of customers. Drivers receive about eighty percent of the profit from each rider, and can always be guaranteed that there will be customers available.

As this is great for most drivers, and favorable for those seeking a quick ride, Uber has its flaws as well as a number of people that do not support the company. Taxi services are outraged, because Uber does not comply with the same rules as standard cab companies. Drivers use their own cars instead of ones provided by the employer, so semi-annual police inspections are not required, and the drivers do not need to follow the same regulations. This creates a threat to safety for both drivers and riders. Because it is rather easy to become an Uber driver, riders may be walking into danger as they step into the stranger’s car. As poor press continues to pile up on Uber, it becomes more and more difficult to support company. Labor lawsuits, outrageous pricing, subprime lending, and horror stories of criminal drivers and riders all tamper with Uber’s reputation.

Uber is popular because it provides for people in a quick and easy manner. It is surely a 21st century idea, that can be perfected with a few changes in the system. Although at  times in real life it can appear to be dangerous, in an ideal world, Uber is gold to our society.