Let’s pour it up for Uber, the best thing to ever happen to our generation
Please don’t leave
Getting mashed is fun, getting home on public transport isn’t. The night bus in December. One mate has thrown up on a girl called Jennifer while another films the whole thing for a classic snapchat story. Your girlfriend is having her hair stroked by an elderly Caribbean man who says he’s called Reginald (he smells heavily of rum) and everyone is too scared to do anything. Everybody is too fucked to know where they are and what’s going on, and the chances are you’ll miss your stop because you’re asleep.
How many times have you been in this situation?
I never have, and it’s because of Uber.
But our beloved private hire service is under attack, it’s dying and I’m not sure I can handle it. Petty, jealous black cab drivers are mad because Uber undercut them. They blame their anger on safety fears for passengers, but the reality is they’re just losing business because their rides are too expensive.
Granted, this isn’t the fault of the cabbies and their jobs would be made a lot easier if there wasn’t so much ridiculous red tape and regulation. But I don’t care – I just want a cheap trip home that doesn’t involve a crappy bus.
Black cab drivers are arrogant, thinking that just because they have to take a test, it makes them God’s gift to personal transport. Uber drivers are human beings, they have sat navs just like you and me, and best of all they don’t expect a tip, even if they’ve chauffered you all the way from Shoreditch to Ealing.
The simple act of requiring ratings, the thing that sets Uber apart from all it’s competition, makes the world of difference. When drivers realise you have power over how much they make that night, it turns them from leery, judgey weirdos, to real people that make the journey about you- and that’s the way it should’ve always been.
Uber nails the customer experience. The drivers are grateful for business whether the journey is £5 or £20, they talk to you even if you’re under 40 and don’t like football, they don’t even tut when your tip isn’t big enough.
The experience of an Uber cab is all about you. They’re cleaner, the cars are newer, they have thoughtful little perks like phone chargers, because they want the five-star rating as much as you do. You’ll never get a wheezy, grimy bloke who pesters you with questions about whether you pulled in an Uber, but you probably would in a black cab.
It’s more than just cash-free transport, it’s a way of life. It epitomises all that is wonderful about the modern world, a world where you can order an UberLux, charge your iphone 6 and feel as puffed up and ridiculous as Kanye for the duration of your journey.
Sailing around the streets of the big city and having a chat with someone who won’t spend the whole time complaining about cyclists and the death of London’s beloved black cab, is a privilege we’ve got used to, and it would be a travesty if it was lost.
It’s expanded the travel options for so many people, who, in the pre-Uber world, would’ve thought twice about travelling across London, fearing the last tube home or black cab drivers who’ll judge you when you stagger into their cars at 6am.
If it is to disappear or have it’s soul ripped out by TfL, it will be a tragedy. A tragedy for the modern age, a tragedy for passengers and a tragedy for London.
Hang on in there Ubae, I love you.