When it comes to late night transportation, I can’t rely on Uber.
Have you seen the UBER ads running on TV lately? On YouTube it’s called, “Don’t let Mayor de Blasio strand New Yorkers.” They are asking for support by signing a petition.
The deal behind the petition is that NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council proposed a bill to cap Uber. The Council is “expected to vote tomorrow on a new proposal that would impose a one-year slowdown in the number of new vehicles [Uber] can license for its fleet.”
Obviously Uber does not want this to happen hence the video ad and why they are asking for support.
The first line of the video makes me chuckle, “You need to get to your nightshift in the South Bronx…” Filmed in black and white, with its sappy soft music, the 30-second video is meant to pull at the heart strings. Because Uber wants you to believe they are there for you. You, the minority in the outer boroughs.
I mean, I get why some people like Uber. But here’s my beef with them. The very first time I tried to use it, the driver stood me up.
According to Uber’s website, “27% of Uber rides are to, from, or within the outer boroughs (excluding airport trips), compared to just 6% of traditional taxi pickups.”
I’ve lived in the outer boroughs all of my life. In my party girl days, I’d often have to flag down 2 – 3 cabs before one agreed to take me home to Queens. Queens! Trying to find a yellow cab while living in The Bronx has been worse, though my party girl days are very few and far between. Even though it’s illegal for a cabbie to refuse service to the outer boroughs – it happens more often than not. (It even happened to the Mayor of Puerto Rico just a few months ago.)
A mass e-mail sent to new Uber drivers in New York City late last fall encouraged those drivers to “position” themselves in the “busiest areas of the city”—Manhattan below the north end of Central Park, plus a swath of Brooklyn from Greenpoint south to Park Slope—if they hoped to receive a “guaranteed” $5,000 for their first full month of driving. [Emma Whitford, Gothamist ]
Last month I decided to go out on a Thursday evening. I finally saw Les Miserables on Broadway. The show ended after 11pm and the theater is in Times Square (the West side). I needed to go East.
I had a $50 credit on my Uber account that was burning a hole in my pocket. I decided to treat myself to a car ride home. I ordered a car and waited. The driver was minutes away. Then I get a call from the driver. He wanted to confirm where I was going and I told him The Bronx. He said, “OK – I’ll be right there.” Within seconds, I get a notification on my phone that the driver canceled the car.
Once the Uber driver, realized I was going to The Bronx, he refused to pick me up.
I could have tried to get another driver. Or I could have tried my luck with a yellow cab. But it was late. I was tired and frustrated. And I wasn’t in the mood to beg for a ride home.
So I did what any other New Yorker would do. I let out a string of expletives and then took the train home.
I may do my fair share of complaining about the MTA, but they’ve never refused to take me where I need to go.
Would love to hear about your experience with Uber especially if you live in The Bronx.