AS the multi-billion pound taxi firm Uber launches in Glasgow today, we give you a quick rundown of what you need to know about the country’s newest form of transport.
Uber is a smartphone based app, so in order to get involved you have to sign up to the website or via the app which will launch today at 4pm. The app, which is available on any major smartphone, is backed by Google maps and uses GPS technology.
How does the app actually work?
In order to set up an account, Uber requires a few of your personal details including mobile number and card payment details. The app will also have to know your location in order to determine a pick up point.
Next, all you have to do is request a ride, wait for the driver to accept and enter your destination. Once you’ve been picked up, it will let you know an estimated time of arrival and give you the option to send the information to the person you’re meeting.
How do I pay?
Uber will determine fares by tracking the user’s start and finish, and how long the journey takes. The app will quickly connect a driver to a passenger depending on their location, which allows it to keep fares low. Fares will be predetermined through a set price list created by Uber and will be visible to the user before the journey commences.
The main advantage of the system is that all payments are set up via the app so you don’t have to be carrying cash or card in order to get to your destination - especially helpful for those struggling to get home after a night out.
If you’re planning on sharing the taxi, there’s an option to split the fare.
Where can I use Uber?
Glasgow is currently the only Scottish city using Uber. However, the company has said that they are looking to expand their market to Edinburgh within the next few months and to other cities including Aberdeen in 2016.
Who are the drivers?
Anyone can sign up to become an Uber driver but appropriate vetting and background checks will undergone first. Hundreds of taxi drivers from Glasgow are thought to have already signed up to be part of the service. In order for the service to be successful it has to have a large pool of drivers. To become a driver you must have access to your own car and be able to cover the fuel and servicing costs.
The emergence of Uber hasn’t been without its controversy. Issues with drivers checks, law breaking and rape allegations have plagued the company since its emergence. With its presence disrupting traditional taxi services across the world,it’s unlikely that the San Francisco based company will go unnoticed in Glasgow.