I have always been a fan of technology and anything new on the market, usually peaks my interest. There are some areas, however, I have not jumped into and one of them is ride share programs… until now.
Last week, I spent a few days in Montreal, and needed to get from my hotel to a few places in the old city. I explored taking a taxi, but of course, that becomes tedious, in that I would have to find a telephone number, spell out all the street names and so forth.
I decided to download the Uber app on my phone and give it a try. To say I was impressed and amazed is an understatement. I understand many of you have been using this for a long time, and if you have, think back to the first time you tried it, and how amazed you were.
The first question to answer on my app was, where I was going, followed by when I wanted to go. That was easy. I entered the address and a second later, I received a notice saying Antoine was a minute away.
It displayed a map, showing where Antoine was and how much the ride would cost. It was surprisingly economical, certainly much less than parking would have been, if in fact, I were able to find a spot.
The little dot on my map showed he was close to my hotel. It displayed his license plate as well as the colour and make of the car. A few seconds later, he pulled up in front of my door. I asked who the car was for (I did not want to step into the wrong vehicle), and he said my name. In I went and away we drove.
The app showed me where we were, at all times, so I knew we were on track. The amount was set when I ordered the car, so there was no question of how much I would be charged. The ride was ten minutes or so, and before I left, the app gave me an option to tip Antoine. It even went on to say 100% of the tip went to the driver, which made me feel comfortable.
After dinner, I was going back to my hotel. It was just as simple, and I even added a stop. The experience was very user friendly and a great time saver.
Even in North Durham, the pickup time for a trip to the airport would be 11 minutes. Quite quick, with little hassle. Say what you will about technology, it certainly has its moments where saving time becomes an important element of my life.
Jonathan van Bilsen is a television host, award winning photographer, published author, columnist and keynote speaker. Watch his show, ‘Jonathan van Bilsen’s photosNtravel’, on RogersTV, the Standard Website or YouTube.