Italy is the latest country to say arrivederci to Uber, with the ride-sharing service banned after taxi unions filed complaints about unfair competition. Italy isn’t the first place to take action with Austin, Barcelona, Buenos Aires and Vancouver also blacklisting Uber.
Regardless of where you sit in the Uber / taxi debate, the bans are a real downside for not only residents but also travellers. Here’s why Uber is a godsend when in a foreign city:
It’s easy to order
Never mind trying to hunt down a taxi or work out if they’re free if the lights are on or off, simply log on to your existing app and book a car to your current location. Trying to communicate your destination isn’t an issue either as you’ve already entered it in the app.
It’s harder to get ripped off
While local taxi drivers in most cities have a reputation for seeing foreigners coming and charging them extra, Uber’s pricing is all done through its app. You receive an initial indicative fare, meaning unless they drive around in circles it’s much harder for them to take you for a ride so to speak! Incidentally, if they do take a ridiculous route you can see this on the map in the app and submit a complaint or request a refund.
Unlike a taxi where you have no idea of the car or driver’s details, Uber tells you who your driver will be, the vehicle type and the number plate. While, of course, there’s nothing to necessarily stop some stranger sitting behind the wheel instead, at least given the car and journey details are captured you have far more information than if you got in a random taxi.
You don’t need money
Physical money that is! No cash, no problem. Uber automatically deducts the amount from the payment method attached to your account, so no need to try and scrounge together enough local currency to pay for your ride.
The main reason Uber is facing so much hostility is because it offers the same service as taxis for less money. Living in London, Uber is a complete saviour as I cannot afford to catch black cabs.
Averaging a trip about once a month, I can confidently say from experience that Uber is a far better option than taxis when travelling. Not only will it cost you less, you’re less likely to worry about getting ripped off or fearing for your safety – issues that, particularly as a young girl – I had experienced more often than not with taxis.
Unfortunately, there are many cities that don’t yet have Uber or have banned it. However, if you find yourself in a foreign place, try to open the app to check if the service is available. Both your bank account and sanity will thank you at the end of your trip.
Have you used Uber while travelling? Where do you sit in the Uber vs taxis debate?