Time to Uber: My first time experience with Uber Port Elizabeth


We were two Pearson High School learners stuck at home in Bluewater Bay, Port Elizabeth, on a windy Wednesday afternoon and in dire need of transport in order to attend the 2016 Sasol Solar Challenge competition that rolled into town on the same day at Kings Beach. I was supposed to hand in my school's submission into the competition; what were we to do? 

That is when I thought of Uber - the taxi hailing app. Having heard a lot about how "it's fast", "it's easy to use" and the classic "it's better than walking," I decided to give the app a go.

After downloading the very simple, straight-forward Uber App onto my phone, I urgently proceeded following the on-screen instructions.

Immediately after asking for you to enable your location services, it welcomes you with the Uber logo and providing you with the option to register or sign in. I - never having had an uber account before -  clicked the register tab.

Right away, the majority of my information was filled in thanks to my Samsung's Google+ App (you have the option of registering with Google+ or Facebook). After typing in your name, e-mail address and phone number; you then create a pasword of your choice...Wait!! Tread lightly on your sensitive Android screens as there is no verification entry to re-enter your created password, nor an option to view what you have typed in.

You then choose your prefered payment method (cash, credit card or paypal). Once your choice is made, you type in your pick up destination, which then takes you to a Google Map view of your pick up destination and a radius of a few km surrounding it.

The nearest Uber to you is indicated by a car emoticon, situated where the driver currently, is on your map.

A convenient pop-up at the bottom of your screen shows the; name of the driver, his/her rating just below the name and image of him/her, the type of  car, as well its number plate.

You are then allowed the option of calling or texting the driver. I chose to call, and my driver, Khayenda, politely, assured me he would pick us up within 15 minutes.

We rushed to get into our uniforms and watched a little circle above my friend's house on Google Map view go from 15 to 1 minute away - being able to watch him till arrrival was rather reassuring. My phone then alerted me that he had in fact arrived.

After squashing our A1-sized poster into the back seat with us, we were on the move!

Thanks to a friendly introduction, we were more than comfortable in the stranger's car. The choice of music is up to you. Bring a CD or enjoy bluetooth connection - given the car has the option, and enjoy your safe uber ride.

Remember that waiting or stopping for long periods of time throughout your Uber drive does infact add to your final fee.

I highly recommend Uber as its easy to use and convenient for students whose parents refuse to pick them up from Baywest Mall to locals having one too many sips at their watering hole - I found Uber a safe and friendly means of transportation.