I spend a lot of time out of my home. And I mean a lot.
There are days where the longest I see Mr GFB for is to kiss him goodbye before I leave for the gym and kiss him goodnight when I crawl into bed. Thankfully infrequent, but they happen.
A lot of this is down to living outside the city. Often people are surprised to hear that I do. It’s true, I’m about 4 miles outside the city, in the little town of Stretford (known fondly by it’s nickname, St. Retford to it’s community). And whilst it’s often just a 30 minute bus, or 25 minute tram journey away, there are times when it’s very late, I’ve missed the last tram and I have to get home.
Black cabs are unfortunately, for the most part, expensive, scarce and I’ve had a wealth of uncomfortable experiences having stepped into one.
There are those who hear my lack of Mancunian accent and think I’m from out of town, and take the ‘long’ route home – adding a good £5 to the bill.
I’ve argued over expensive fares.
There was the one who asked inappropriate questions for the entire journey – I subsequently made him drop me off a little way from home and I walked the rest of the way.
Admittedly, I’ve had great drivers too, but you always remember the bad ones – it’s human nature. People always remember the bad thing you did as opposed to the good.
However, I’ve been introduced to something that takes away all the worry and the stress of hunting up a black cab on a busy night in town. I’ve been introduced to Uber.
It’s late in the evening. You’ve had enough to drink. You need to get yourself home, efficiently, cheaply and safely.
You reach for your phone and boot up the Uber app. It pinpoints your signal and the screen tells you how many minutes away the nearest cab is from you. You tap the pin to order your cab.
You receive a message telling you your cab is on it’s way, what kind of car it is, the name of the driver and his/her picture and confirmation of how long they will be.
You finish your drink. Pay. Tip the bartender.
A text arrives to tell you your cab is outside. You wander out, see the cab, the driver and get in and tell the driver where home is.
You’re whisked home in a clean cab, with a lovely driver, who drops you off at home. No stopping 5 minutes away as it’ll add an extra few quid to your bill (yes, I’ve done that too).
As you’ve used the app, your credit/debit card has been charged at a reasonable rate and you haven’t had to faff around finding a cash machine that doesn’t have a three mile queue. An average journey from town with Uber costs me £9. With a black cab it costs me £15 minimum.
The app also asks you to rate your driver and your driver can rate you. So if you have a lovely driver, you can say so, and if they’re not so good, you can do the same.
It’s the closest I’m ever going to get to having a chauffeur and I bloody love it. For those nights where it’s too late, or I’ve got an early start, or just because, I can get a car to come and get me and not have to worry about how much it’s going to cost me, or digging in my purse for cash.
And Uber have given me an offer for you. If you’re new to Uber, download it and use the code BLUESTOCKINGMCR. This will give you £25 to spend over up to four journeys.
Seriously, £25 of free travel.
Worth giving it a go?
Uber asked me to use their app, covered the costs of some of my fares and asked for feedback. I have continued to use this app as I think it is utterly brilliant, efficient, easy and every driver has been lovely.