If you read our recent feature on Uber, you know that the mobile app providing an alternative to the traditional taxi has been operating under the radar for a while now in Palm Springs, but April marks the official launch of Uber Palm Springs, just in time for Coachella and Stagecoach! Below is some basic info about Uber and how it works, and then read on for information about how to take advantage of Uber during Coachella and Stagecoach.
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.
REQUESTING RIDES DURING COACHELLA:
Getting to the Festival: Uber cars will be available throughout the Coachella Valley; just use the app or website to request a ride. You’ll be dropped off at the designated pickup and drop off area located in Lot 1C near the corner of Avenue 49 and Monroe.
Leaving from the Festival: When you’re ready to head home (or keep the party going elsewhere!), cruise on over to the fully stocked Uber Lounge in Lot 1C where the Uber team will help you request a ride (do not request a ride while inside the festival; instead head to the Uber Lounge first). Inside the Uber Lounge, while you wait for your ride you can enjoy the photo booth, a DJ, iPads for Web surfing, a beverage bar and snacks, as well as a charging station for mobile devices.
Available choices and rates:
Secret Ubers have been on the road in Palm Springs for a while now, but in honor of the official launch, the price of uberX in Palm Springs is now at rates that are 25% cheaper than a taxi. In addition to the new lower cost uberX, UberBLACK and UberSUV will be permanently available in the Palm Springs area. For more information on rates, visit the Uber Palm Springs website.
From April 11 – 28, you will also be able to request a fully stocked UberSTRETCH limo option for you to cruise around the desert with your whole entourage (seats up to 10 passengers and all riders must be 21 or older).
Don’t want to fight the traffic to the desert for Coachella? Uber is also offering flat rates from Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego during Coachella so you can sit back, relax, and let them do the driving.
Flat rates between Los Angeles/Orange County and Palm Springs (both to and from):
Los Angeles: uberX: $149 | BLACK: $299 | SUV: $399
Orange County: uberX: $129 | BLACK: $279 | SUV: $379
Flat rates between San Diego and Palm Springs (both to and from):
San Diego: uberX: $199 | BLACK: $319 | SUV: $419
During both Coachella weekends, Uber is hooking people up with exclusive opportunities only available through the Uber app. Users can enter the promo code ‘UberALLACCESS’ under the promotions tab in the app or sign up here to unlock the view. A special “ALL ACCESS” button will appear in the app whenever an experience is up for grabs, and the first person to successfully request the “ALL ACCESS” car will be whisked away to the experience with their +1. Some #UberALLACCESS opportunities planned during Coachella include: ride with Gareth Emery to an exclusive desert pool party; meet, greet and party with Disclosure; or enjoy brunch with GTA at the Viceroy Palm Springs. You can stay up to date on #UberALLACCESS opportunities by following Uber Palm Springs on Twitter at @Uber_Palm.
Uber during Stagecoach:
There will be Uber Lounges available during Stagecoach to help you request a ride and connect with your driver. We’ll update you on any special promotions and opportunities as we get closer to Stagecoach!