It's official!

It's official!
David Stubbs Photography

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Uber: The must-have app for New Yorkers

Since moving to New York City, I've been afraid to leave. No, it's not that I'm worried about missing something super fun, it's the fact that for months I've been hearing horror stories about how hard it is to get to the airport.

You see, in New York, cab drivers rule the roost. They run the show. They tell you what they want to do, but more importantly, they tell you what they DON'T want to do. If they don't want to drive you five blocks in the rain? They won't. If they don't want to take your credit card? They won't. (Cash only blondie.) And if they don't want to drive you to the airport? Well, they just won't stop. Having a suitcase next to you while hailing a cab is nearly as bad as swaying from side to side while holding a bag of vomit in one hand and a bottle of rum in the other. In other words: they just don't want the mess.

Why? From what I hear, cab drivers either think they can make more money driving around Manhattan than they would driving to the airport or they don't want to deal with traffic. So, unless you catch one heading home at the end of his shift, you're pretty much SOL.

Here's me in a black car
Before Christmas, I booked a trip home to Wyoming. On the day of my flight, my heart was racing (and my 'pits were extra sweaty) trying to decide how I was going to get to LaGuardia. Then my husband told me I should use Uber. Uber is a way-cool app that allows you to book a cab, black car or SUV pretty much 24 hours a day. You just sign up and enter your credit card info. When you're ready for a car, you click the app, wait for the GPS to find you and then click "Request Pickup Here." Within 5 minutes, my driver "Wagih" was waiting outside my apartment with a clean, black car and a smile on his face. And his car didn't smell like vomit. And Wagih didn't feel the need to weave in and out of traffic at 90 miles per hour while the car teetered on two wheels. It was the best! I got the airport in one, sweat-free piece.

Best of all, the ride is charged to your credit card, so you can just hop out when you reach your destination. It was $60 for me to go from the Upper West Side to LaGuardia. The tip is included but I gave Wagih an extra $10 to show my appreciation for his cleanliness.

Now, if they could only invent an app that figures out a way to get a 50-pound bag down four flights of steep stairs...

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