My Night Out with Uber

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No, Uber is not a mysterious German gentleman. It’s the latest in private car service in Cincinnati, and it’s actually pretty affordable. If you’ve ever experienced the comedy of errors that is calling a cab in this city, then you’ll be pumped to know there’s another game in town. Uber is a mobile app that allows you to order up a car at a moment’s notice. The branding is super slick but the concept is dead simple: Download the app. Click a button. A car pulls up. As for your manner of ride, you have two choices: A regular car, owned by one of Uber’s part-time drivers, or—for a price hike—a schmancy SUV or town car, operated by a professional driver. The ride-share service (called “uberX”) has a $2 base fare and then charges $.30 a minute and $1.40 a mile. Our trip from downtown to Oakley cost $14.59 and the driver arrived at the curb in 5 minutes flat. (If you’re hosting a foreign dignitary or some such, the same ride in an Uber Black car will cost you about $27). For both service levels, you get the name and photo of your driver, a description of the car, an ETA, and you pay through the app. There’s even a map to let you know how many potential cars are in your area and how far away they are. The future is now, people.

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