If you haven’t heard of Uber, it’s time that you get to know this ground-breaking company. By way of a mobile app, Uber connects passengers with private drivers for hire as an alternative to traditional taxi services. The app launched in San Francisco in 2010 for iPhone and Android, and Uber has experienced significant growth over the past few years in both in the US and abroad.
While active throughout other parts of Southern California for some time now, Uber has only recently made a quiet move into the Palm Springs area. The official Palm Springs launch is still forthcoming, but the Palm Springs Uber website is live and you can use the app now to request rides in the Palm Springs area. The company does not promise full coverage in the Palm Springs area yet, but plenty of local folks (our staff included) have been successfully using Uber in the area over the past few months. We are definitely excited to have Uber operating in the desert, and we know it will be a game-changer this year during Coachella!
Intrigued? Want to hear more? Here’s what you need to know about using Uber:
What exactly is Uber?
Uber is an app for your mobile device that allows you to “order” a ride through the app, or if you don’t have a smartphone, you can use the Uber website to request a ride.
Who are the drivers?
Uber engages private drivers who use their own vehicles and are fully licensed and insured. Once you request a ride via the app or website, you can track the arrival of your driver on your phone while you’re waiting. When the driver arrives you will receive a text message. Riders can rate drivers in order to provide feedback to Uber and help maintain a high caliber of drivers.
How much does it cost?
Uber’s pricing is similar to a standard cab fare, with the Palm Springs fares right now entailing a $3.00 base fee, and then running $0.20 per minute and $2.00 per mile. There is a $5.00 minimum fare and a $5.00 fee if you cancel a ride after placing the order.
How do you pay?
No cash or credit/debit cards exchange hands when you use Uber; instead you maintain a card on file through your Uber account or you can link a PayPal account, and that card or your PayPal account is charged after your ride and you will receive a receipt via email. Unlike traditional taxis, tips are not expected when using Uber. Sick of having to cover that friend who never has cash for the cab? Well you’re in luck because the latest version of the Uber app now allows you to split the fare between all of the riders. Everyone just needs to have an Uber account set up in order to use the fare splitting function, and there is a $0.25 fare split fee.
How do you get started?
You’ll want to download the Uber app on your smartphone to get started, and then follow the instructions to request a ride. If you have more questions about how Uber works, check out Uber’s FAQs for Riders.
Think this sounds cool and want to be an Uber driver yourself? Well you’re in luck because Uber is hiring locally. You must be at least 23 years old, have a 4-door car that is a 2006 model or newer, and pass a background check. For more job info, check local Craigslist listings (just search “Uber” in Transportation Jobs) or visit the Uber website.