I have always looked upon Uber with a bit of disdain, imagining it as a pricey car service for people who think that they are too good for an ordinary cab, and as a company that is taking business away from regular taxi drivers. This past weekend, I had my first experience with Uber, and I have to admit that I was rather impressed.
Last Friday night Alejandro and I went downtown to see Mexico City's Festival of Lights. It was well after eleven by the time we had seen the lights, and we still had not had any supper. The restaurants in the historic center were either closed or had long lines. So we took the Metrobus to the Zona Rosa neighborhood, and ate at a place called "Casa de los Abuelos" that is open late. By the time we were done eating, it was nearly 1:00 A.M.
Since the Metrobus stops running at one, I said that we could just hail a cab to go back to the apartment. Alejandro said that he would use the Uber app that he has on his phone. The app connected us with a driver and even displayed a map showing the driver on his way. In less than ten minutes, he had arrived. He was very courteous and pleasant. What shocked me most of all was the price... 41 pesos. That's about two dollars! Granted, it was not a very long ride, perhaps a couple miles, but I doubt that even a regular taxi would be any cheaper. (Of course I am sure that the prices in other countries are much more expensive.)
It was a very positive experience. However, I doubt if I will ever use the service myself. You see, I am a dinosaur. The only cell phone that I have is a very cheap, basic phone that I have for emergencies. None of this I-Phone or Smart-Phone stuff with all its apps for me. I will continue to do things the old-fashioned way... either call a taxi or hail one on the street.