Uber has reached Dayton. Uber, a German word, means over, above or across. In America we have used the word Uber to add emphasis to almost anything we are excited about. Dayton has lots to be excited about with the addition of Uber in the Miami Valley market.
Uber, the app and San Francisco company, was founded in 2009. In its earliest days Uber was a smartphone app tool used to request black car ride service. The app became popular quickly because it allowed the user to track the cars location and estimated time of arrival. Since 2009 the company has grown to service 200 cities in 53 countries around the world. 2012 was the mark of big growth when Uber expanded to allow any qualified driver with a suitable car to drive.
I began to drive for Uber in December of 2014. I had a few friends that were driving part time and making a little cash on the side. The process of applying to join the Uber fleet was tedious, but not difficult. The registration requires an Uber amount of paperwork and a background check. Uber is very cautious and vets drivers and their cars in a very systematic manner. Interior and exterior photos of my vehicle, a 2005 Honda Odyssey had to be submitted along with proof of insurance, vehicle registration; and a copy of my driver’s license had to be submitted online.
New Uber drivers are required to complete a short online training program to become familiar with the Uber app. Uber operates on two mobile apps. The Uber partner app is for drivers. This app allows drivers to log on when they are available and ready to drive. The app alerts drivers when a nearby rider has requested a ride. Drivers have 15 seconds to accept or reject the ride. The app only tells the driver where the pickup spot is. Normally it is within 5-15 minutes of your actual location. The app allows the rider to see the driver’s progress in real time and the driver alerts the rider upon arrival via the app.
For the driver it is a very easy process. Once the rider is in the car the destination address is entered. The app is complete with mapping and turn by turn directions. Once the ride is complete the driver acknowledges arrival to the destination in the app and payment is made immediately. Riders are required to have a credit card on file in the User app. No credit card information is shared between the rider and driver. The app calculates and makes the transaction. Drivers are paid weekly.
Are all riders drunk? No. Most of my riders are not intoxicated. My riders include college students who do not have a car on campus, people out for dinner and drinks, out of town visitors and the occasional late night reveler. More often I carry a small group of friends out for a night together. Uber is easier to request than a cab, normally cheaper and more dependable in the suburbs for a ride when needed.
Is it dangerous? No, not really. Riders are registered with Uber as well. Their identity is confirmed as they have a credit card on file with Uber to cover charges. Both the driver and rider know who to expect at pick up. The drivers photo and license plate number are sent to the rider so they know who to look for.
Recently I was dispatched to a home in Oakwood and my passengers were three teenaged girls. The app was registered in their parents name. The Uber app for riders allows the rider to share their trip with anyone in real time. Once they started their ride with a swipe on their iPhone, their parents were able to watch the ride in real time and see they were dropped off at the correct destination in short order.
Drivers are independent contractors and are responsible for their own gas and maintenance. Uber will also provide a phone for you for a modest $10.00 a month so your personal phone and data plan is unaffected.
In Dayton on a typical Saturday night I will drive 7-8 riders, a total of 150-180 miles and my income will be about $150.00. My expenses are about $15 in gas and 5 hours of time. Not a bad way to make a few dollars spending money.
If you have a car in good shape, clean inside and out, and are interested in driving for Uber, use this referral code (FA2RX) when you register online at Uber.com. As demand increases for this service, the demand for drivers also increases.
Dayton is still a young market for Uber and the ability to drive on your schedule makes this an appealing way to make some extra cash driving around town.