Uber has been around for a few years now. Since its foundation in 2009, it has changed the way we get from place to place, especially in countries like South Africa. Public transport in South Africa is undeveloped, not maintained, not controlled and is generally not remotely safe. Uber has managed to solve all of those problems with an app, and I think it’s one of the best ideas to hit the global spectrum.
Personally, I found it very frustrating and difficult to get from place to place when I couldn’t drive, or myself and some friends wanted to go and have a few. There was always that poor soul that was the ‘designated driver’ who had to stand there the whole night with a glass of water just because getting a taxi was so much effort, and not particularly safe. When I first created my Uber account, it changed everything. I could now see who was picking me up, where they were, how much the journey would actually cost, I didn’t have to dig around for change to pay the driver AND I could feel safe.
I could now go out with my friends with no need for someone to sacrifice their evening to drive everyone around at a late hour. Another issue Uber was able to solve was the creation of jobs. It allowed individuals to apply for a job where they could make their own hours, be independent and earn a decent salary based on their own efforts. After speaking to a lot of Uber drivers globally, they were very happy with their job as it gave them freedom to see their families, earn a solid salary and give them the opportunity to have a job.
For me, Uber is a fantastic creation. It has suffered a lot of back fire from the local taxi communities but for the reason of it’s so good and so popular among consumers internationally. It’s success is mainly due to one thing; convenience. People love convenience as it makes their life easier and doesn’t add unnecessary steps to their everyday lives. I think Uber will continue to have a strong grip on the taxi community and market until something better comes along. One issue I will raise before ending this article is that some of the Uber drivers, especially in Cape Town are not very good drivers at all. They can seem nervous a lot of the time and drive so slowly it becomes quite frustrating. But the idea as a whole is genius.