Ring…  Ring…  Ring…

“Please hold”

“…. call is important to us.  Please wait on the line….”


Hi, I need a taxi please


Yeah, I’m on 23rd St, near Denny Way

“No intersections!  What is the address?”

Uh…  its 123 23rd St…

“Zip code?

I’m not sure…  one second?  (Hey, what’s your zipcode here?)  Ok, it is 98112

“Ok, it will be about an hour”

An hour?!

“You still want a taxi or not?”


“Ok, an hour.”  Click!

It was already pretty late, but another glass of wine would make the time flow by nicely.  We just finished a nice home cooked meal at a friend’s house, roasted chicken with herbs and vegetables from the garden, and settled in by the outdoor fountain to wax philosophical with other friends also waiting for a taxi.

90 minutes later I called the taxi company again.

“Yeah, I cancelled your taxi because we didn’t have any cars available.  You want me to send another one?”

Do you have cars available?

“It will be about an hour”

Yes please

“Ok, an hour.”  Click!

Wtf?!  We all looked at each other in disbelief, and thought maybe we would take up the offer to stay in the guest bedroom after all.

And then something happened that changed our lives forever

“Oh, I just remembered.  Have you guys heard of Uber?”

A few minutes later I had their app downloaded on my iPhone, and was looking at estimated arrival times

Even in Taipei, We Can Get a Car in 9 minutes

Even in Taipei, We Can Get a Car in 9 minutes

10 minutes later we were sitting in an UberBLACK luxury car, free bottles of water in our hands.

20 minutes later we were home.  The driver opened the door for us and wished us a good night

No cash changed hands.  A receipt was sent via email.  The price was a few dollars more than a taxi, but priceless in terms of customer service

And since we signed up with our friends invite code, we got the ride for free

On our way out, the application asked me to rate the driver, 1 to 5 stars.  Definitely 5 stars, never have I had such a friendly or courteous driver

Never again would we be stuck in a taxi that smelled like an ashtray, or with a driver speaking to his mother-in-law on speakerphone for the whole trip, or with a driver that gets pissed off because you don’t have exact change (Here, just take the whole $20, jerk.)  Sure, you could call the taxi company and complain, but after dealing with their reservation system, would you?

And how much to tip?  With Uber, it is included in the price.  And since it is billed to your credit card on file, you don’t even need to open your wallet.

Our Uber Receipt

Our Uber Receipt

Pretty awesome.  But wait, there is more!

What was the last innovative thing a taxi company has done? (Complaining about Uber to state and local governments doesn’t count)

On the other side, Uber has:

  • Provided an application to request a vehicle without making a phone call and using your GPS location.  You can even estimate the cost of a trip before reserving
  • Allows users to pay with a credit card on file. No cash, no change, and no tipping
  • Sends a text message to the user when a car is about to arrive
  • Offer different classes of service with different bill rates
  • Provided a feedback system that incentives drivers to be courteous and professional
  • Uses math and science to optimize their whole vehicle network, resulting in faster service and lower prices

Not content with revolutionizing the whole human transport system, Uber is now experimenting with shared rides / carpooling, kitten delivery, and the most EXCITING feature ever!

Bike racks!  Never again would I have to ride home in a torrential downpour or after one too many beers (not that I would ever do that), or leave my bike locked to a No Parking sign overnight.  Uber just keeps getting better and better

Do you have some positive or negative experiences with taxis or Uber?  Feel free to share them in the comments

And if you haven’t tried Uber yet, click here to sign up and your first ride (up to $30) is free.  (This link also gives us a free ride)

Give it a try.  I think you will love it as much as we do