Uber has launched in Leeds, finally!

by Chris Kemm

I used a similar taxi service in New York last year, with great success. So, considering the hit-and-miss experiences we’re used to with taxis in Leeds, I’ve become very jealous of my London friends who have been using Uber for some time.

  • As a digital type, I’ve always embraced technology, experimented with code and developed physical and virtual ‘things’ in my life. When a new device or app is launched, I’m always interested, and the pace at which technology changes and develops really excites me. My current favourite device is my Pebble watch. Getting useful notifications on my wrist is brilliant and believe me I thought it would be a nightmare. I have been able to carefully adjust the settings so I only get vital notifications, and having the ability skip Sonos tracks on my watch is totally fantastic.

    Apps and features make the devices we love. I’m sure we’ve all downloaded the ‘latest’ app that’s being discussed. Some we delete soon after and others we embrace and they become an integral part of our lives.

    So far, despite some negative publicity, Uber seems to have got it just right. It stitches multiple technologies together and enhances a service we’ve used for decades. If you write down 10 things you dislike about your average taxi experience, I bet Uber manages to address 90% of them!

    Put simply, the app manages the process of ordering a taxi. It uses GPS to locate where you are and gives you real-time updates on how long the taxi will take to arrive. It’s brilliant for exploring new areas of the city as there’s no need to worry about your exact location. You can either enter where you want to go (Uber gives you a price estimate), or you can just order one and jump in. Once you’ve request a taxi you get updates on the taxi’s ETA, and if you get distracted and loose track of time, they can call you directly with a reminder.

  • Once you arrive at your destination, there’s no need to worry about searching for change as Uber charges your credit card automatically. After your journey, you are sent an email receipt confirming your route, the cost and the driver — they even show you a map in case you can’t remember how you got home!

    This all sounds pretty great so far doesn’t it? On top of all that, one of the best features is the ratings, which help to keep the quality high. Once you’ve completed a journey you can rate the driver and the driver can rate you! The ratings work to the benefit of both parties, as Uber is committed to removing drivers with bad ratings — which should mean no more rude taxi drivers who ignore you and break the speed limit, and no more fair-dodging customers either.

    In my experience, Uber worked really well, which is something that we generally expect of new digital services. The taxi came quickly, got me and my partner home safely and in comfort, and the bill was slightly less than I am used to paying for the same journey. Uber isn’t using any ground-breaking technology, but bringing it together and packaging it in the way they have works brilliantly. Based on my experience, I’d say its win-win ad would definitely recommend it.

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