We've talked before about how we've figured out how to live independently by making money selling on eBay and keeping expenses low. We cannot stress enough how important it's been to write down our monthly expenses and figure out how to make them smaller. Many of you know we recently did this for our cellphone bills. We've done it for healthcare. We call it "digital scavenging" since the web is full of new services that help make commonly-used services cheaper.
Because we travel frequently, we take a lot of cabs to and from the airport. We love public transportation, but it's not always possible to get from our hotel to a job efficiently. That's why we've been surprised to find that the new car service, Uber, was as convenient as the hype. The company has been all over tech news for trying to "disrupt" the taxi industry. Traditional cab drivers hate it and there's debate over their place in the market, but it now seems a pretty normal way to get around.
On this trip we used Uber in San Francisco and NYC, though it's available in many other major cities as well.
- We used the app to request a car. It tells us how much the ride will cost before we even get picked up. We can accept or decline based on this info.
- Since the phone has GPS, you can see the car coming towards your location. No wondering how long it'll take.
- Each time, it's been a guy in an almost new car. The driver knows where we're going because he uses the Uber app too.
- When he dropped us off, there was no money or credit card that changes hands since Uber already has our payment info (our Paypal debit card).
- You don't pay any tip either because it's built into the price. It's a "no cash" ride.
- The receipt is emailed to us automatically.
- The trips have always been cheaper than a traditional taxi ride.
So no more mysterious cab rides where we don't know how much it'll cost, when the driver will arrive, or when they only take cash. Digital scavenging my friends.