In the past year, Uber Technologies has received a lot of heat in the media. There has been controversy over whether Uber is safe. Also, there’s plenty of skepticism over the payment method being strictly via credit cards. Some countries, such as France, have gone as far as to ban Uber from driving in specific cities. Now, if you ask a politician their thoughts about Uber, they may plead a case that is similar to these examples. But, from a college student’s perspective, Uber Technologies may have become the most important app I will ever use.
Uber is really unlike anything else. It’s truly remarkable how in metropolitan cities, and some suburbs, at a click of a button a cab can come to your exact location and drive you from point A to point B. On the surface, this is the main reason why Uber has become such a hit. However, there are many subliminal reasons why Uber is shaping college communities.
While many people argue that Uber is unsafe, college students beg to differ. Sometimes, one of your friends may somehow get separated from a group or be caught in a sticky scenario where they don’t have someone to go home with. In college towns, being under the influence, and alone, can be a very scary reality. You may not know where you are, or if you will be able to hail down a cab. Uber’s speedy and direct location service helps to minimize this problem. Gone are the days when a college student needs to call a taxi service and wait 20 or 30 minutes for the cab to arrive. My typical Uber gets to me in four minutes, and I’m swiftly on my way home every time I go out at night.
Apart from the accessibility, Uber’s payment method has conformed to the society we live in. In college towns, cash has almost become obsolete, and I’ve noticed a lot of people have strictly been using cards because there isn’t a need for cash anymore. Uber’s digital-only system can be summed up in one word: brilliant. Since the drivers charge you on a card, Uber factors in the tip, and the fare ends up being a lot less than a regular cab. It has become so easy for college students to split the fare through the Uber app, and this service helps to avoid people getting ripped off by cab drivers. Before Uber, I can’t tell you how many times I had heard someone pay for a cab and say “I’ve got it this time.” At the end of the day, constantly covering cab fare can really add up, especially on a college student budget. Splitting cabs evenly can help you save money in the long run.
In the beginning of June, I received a promotional email from Uber. In the email, it listed that in eight months I’ve taken close to 120 rides. As a college student at the University of Michigan, the weather does not allow for much walking when going out at night. Uber has insured that I’ve gotten from one place to another without much of a hassle. Now that Uber requires background checks, college campuses should be more open to using Uber to ensure that every student has a safe and easy way to get home, no matter the circumstance.