Since Uber launched in Annapolis in May 2014, residents and visitors alike have relied on the service to move throughout the community. For 9 months, I’ve been an Uber driver-partner, providing safe rides around my existing schedule taking care of my grandchildren and running my own coaching business.
The simplicity and safety features built into the Uber app make it a very popular option to travel around Annapolis at any point of the day or night, and is one of the reasons I decided to become an Uber driver-partner.
When people want to request an Uber ride, it can be done from anywhere – a house, office, restaurant, or wherever they are at that moment – with just a push of a button. And they can watch me, the driver, on the app’s map come towards them, and see my estimated time of arrival. The rider can also see my name, photo, rating, vehicle model, and license plate number right in the app. As a driver, I can also see the rider’s name, location, and rating, too.
If I want to get in touch with the rider, or vice-versa, we can call or text each other right through the Uber app, without sharing our real contact details. It’s great that I’m able to reach riders, should I want to let them know that I’m stuck in traffic, a street is blocked off, or just to get clarity on the pick-up location.
As a woman, I feel safe driving with Uber because I’m always on the map. Uber uses GPS to keep a record of where I go during the ride, and knows which Uber account requested the ride.
Time and time again, I hear from female riders that they feel safe riding with Uber. That’s because just a few years ago, if they were out late or worked during unique hours, they’d have to either go outside to hail a cab, or walk to the nearest public transportation stop, often alone and when it’s dark. With Uber, not only can they stay inside while they book and wait for their car, they also know far more information about the driver and pick up time than ever before. Once in the car, they can share the journey with friends or family who can track them along their route. And riders can rate their experience and provide feedback after their trip, which I – and other drivers – can do for the client, too.
Neither riders nor I have to carry any cash, because payments are made automatically via the app using the electronic payment method on file. This is not just convenient but it also reduces the potential risk and conflict that can stem from lack of cash or fare evasion, and I don’t have to worry about being a target for crime because of a wallet full of cash.
I really enjoy my clients, as they are always so grateful to have someone take them from point A to point B. People value having a convenient, reliable option that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Gone are the days where they have to worry about being stood up, or stranded without a way home. With Uber, they can make flights, get to doctor appointments on time, and have an alternative to getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. It feels good knowing that I’m contributing to the community at large and helping to move visitors and residents of Annapolis.
I encourage anyone in the Annapolis area who needs a ride to download the Uber app and give it a try. I’m confident the experience will be positive and the app is one you’ll want to use again.
This guest piece was submitted by Robin O’Briskie, an Uber partner who drives in the Annapolis area