Uber San Diego's New Luxury Taxi Service

San Diego hails the arrival of this luxury cab service.



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Hailing a taxi on the weekend can be a bit like trying to catch a sardine with your hand. In the later shades of evening, it’s a race to find a ride before the streets are abandoned. Even calling for a taxi sometimes causes mix ups that leave commuters stranded in the streets for hours. And once you get that cab, you begin to feel packed in like a sardine yourself.

Thanks be to Uber, a company at the forefront of the luxury transport service industry since 2010 and poised to make an even bigger splash going forward. Conceived and employed first on the streets of San Francisco, Uber has extended its reach far beyond California to the corners of the globe, serving the residents of 20 cities in four different countries. And its recent arrival in San Diego is nothing short of a blessing.

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Uber prides itself on providing a service that is distinct and arguably superior to that of other cab services. Taylor Monaco, Uber’s San Diego community manager, does not demure when describing the company’s innovative technological implementations. 

“Uber is always on demand,” she said. “Our cars arrive 5 to 10 minutes after the client has requested a vehicle, and the user can see, in real time, the location of the driver as they arrive.”

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All of this, of course, is possible through Uber’s smartphone app, which has done much to revolutionize the way the industry works. Users no longer have to do the equivalent of laying down in front of a taxi cab to make it stop, nor must they wonder how long a call-in dispatch will take to get to their area. They need only access an application on their phones, request a ride and watch the blue dot on their screen move closer and closer. 

Even the need for cash exchange has been eliminated by the application. “Clients upload their credit card information during the signup process, so all of the billing is done electronically,” Monaco explained. “No cash required.”

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And don’t expect your average yellow cab with limited leg room and suspect odors. With Uber, you are greeted curbside by a professional driver in a sleek black car or SUV. It’s like having your own private driver. 

In addition, Uber has set up a mechanism for its clients to evaluate drivers and send feedback to the company administration. “The feedback loop ensures that Uber clients are getting the highest quality drivers, as we remove the lowest quality drivers from our system,” Monaco said. Riders rate drivers via a system of one to five stars, and can also leave short descriptions of their experience on the site, so any and all episodes are well-catalogued and well-recorded.

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Despite all these extra services, Uber is still reasonably priced. 

“In San Diego, Uber is typically about 1.4-times standard cab fare, which is including tip,” Monaco said. “The convenience and overall luxury are worth the small price difference.” 

There is a great school of philosophers who believe that the definition of “cool” is nothing more than “bringing panache to the otherwise mundane.” If this is true, then Uber transportation service is among the coolest of all taxi cab companies worldwide. 

And that, irregardless of all other factors, should be enough incentive to at least give it a try.