In 2016 I decided to get rid of my car. I chose Uber and the Gautrain to get around JHB. So here are some observations as to the way to use uber in South Africa :
- You always sit in the front . This is because uber is a ride share. It is not a taxi. Old people – it is not a taxi. The uber drivers also now have to be registered as metered taxi’s so if you sit in the back there is more chance that you will be pulled over by JMPD / EMPD and his vehicle will be impounded. So sit in the front – take a look at your drivers name and remember it. At a stop tell the cop that your mate Sizwe is dropping you off -what is Uber?
- Be polite. Again, it isn’t a taxi. Did you know that as much as you get to rate your driver, he gets to rate you. If you are a highly rated rider you don’t wait for an Uber. if you are a 2 or 3 out of 5 you are in for a bit of a wait. Its really democratic that way.
- Help to navigate. Google Maps and Wayz are great, but not nearly as good as local knowledge of the area. Both GPS programs make use of algorithms that determine the fastest route and sometimes the dynamics on the route change while you are driving.So be patient and assist.
- Chat to the driver. He or she is a wealth of information and also interesting insights into your city. Uber is public transport and there is nothing better than relaxing and chatting to the driver about various issues or political, social or local interest.
- Uber works out at about R7,50 per km. If you register for a business account Uber will also send you a breakdown of every trip, cost, driver and destination. If you are in a similar game to me then this means you can expense every trip. So clients pay for uber when I move. I don’t need to think of go books, substantiating AA rates, claims etc.
- Support the Uber. Metered Taxi’s are sharks. The same trip that take me from Rosebank to Westcliff costs R100 in a metered taxi. No wonder these guys are going out of business. This is a R40 Uber.
- The UberX is charged at a base fee of R20, Time and distance.
- Here are some trips and costs for interest :
- Airport from Westcliff – R270.00
- Hillcrest (KZN) to King Shaka Airport – R415.00
- Rhodesfield Gautrain Station to Anderbolt near Barloworld – R140.00
- Bedfordview to Westcliff – R215.00
- Rosebank Gautrain Station to Westcliff – R45.00
I hear, this evening, that Uber vehicles have been impounded on Grayston and that at the airport the towing vans have the knives out. Think about this Dept. of Transport – you have never shut down minibus taxis? You have never cared that metered taxi’s overcharge tourists and vehicles are in an awful condition. Do everyone a favour and streamline the application process that legitimises Uber as a public transport system.