Oaxaca mural

Oaxaca mural

Monday, November 14, 2016

Rethinking Uber

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.



  1. Be careful! Dinosaurs are eventually turned into gasoline and fed into Uber cars.

    All kidding aside, join the 21st century! Once you get over your mental block to using a smartphone, you'll wonder how you survived without it.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we no longer can be unplugged from the Matrix for too long.

  2. Uber is an excellent service for the users (not the drivers)... so perhaps you should consider using a smartphone and the Uber application. If not ready, you better don't hail a taxi on the street... Have a good time!

    1. I remember your blog post about your experience driving with Uber. Alejandro has a friend who drove with Uber, and he too had some bizarre experiences.

      As far as hailing a taxi on the street in Mexico City, it is no longer a major danger (although I do check to make sure that the ID photo on the window matches the driver). I have no fear of the taxis any more, and neither do Alejandro or most chilangos. I am more likely to be run over by traffic crossing the street than to be kidnapped by a taxi driver.