Though Uber has been driving tech-savvy folks around San Francisco, New York and Boston for a while now, I just tried it myself last month in the East Bay. I used Lyft as well, and in both cases, the drivers told me that Berkeley is a new market and they weren't picking up as many fares as they had hoped. This led me to conclude that you might not know about these super services.
I have a car, and so does my husband, which means we won't become frequent customers of any car service — including a third East Bay player, Sidecar. However, there are a few scenarios that made me think sharing information about these guys is relevant for local families.
When I was headed to downtown Berkeley for an event and planned to have a few drinks, I delighted in being picked up by a (shockingly clean) car and delivered to the door of my destination. No driving around looking for a parking space or paying for a spot in a garage and then walking three blocks in heels.
The Lyft app allowed me to enter my destination, provided me a fare estimate, and when the driver arrived, he knew exactly where to take me. Upon arrival, no fumbling with payment. All I had to do was approve the fare on my phone; the credit card I had added to my account when I set it up that morning was charged. The driver and I agreed to give each other five stars. Wanna try Lyft? Use my Lyft invitation link and get your first ride free, up to $25.
- You need to go to the airport and leave your partner the car at home
- You need to meet up with partner and kids later and they will have the car
- You got a babysitter for the evening and you would like to drink on your night out
I love you Oakland, but I don't always want to walk back to my car in the dark to where I have parked. Am I right, single moms?
- Going somewhere where parking is time-consuming and costly, ie Nob Hill. (Take BART to SF and then summon a car if no taxi is found.)
- You are willing to walk to your destination, but will want a ride home. Alternatively, your babysitter arrived via bus but you would like to provide her a ride home.
- Or maybe you just ran 7 miles in an area you're not familiar with, but did not end up where you had hoped because the icon on your running app that you thought was your starting point actually represented a water source which looks like a tear drop but also looks like a “start” icon and that's confusing, especially when you're dripping with sweat and you need to be rescued. Just me?
Install a ride service app and set up your account so that you are ready to use it when the need arises.