Being a student without a car can be difficult, even in an area with the best of public transportation. If you live in a city, you have the luxury of taxis, but they are often too expensive for the college student budget on a regular basis. If you are in a smaller college town, there is probably not even regular taxi service at all. In the past few years however, a new form of peer-to-peer transportation, also known as “ridesharing,” has hit the street: Uber.
What is Uber?
The concept of ridesharing is simple: you ride in someone else’s car to get where you’re going. With Uber: you download the app, say you need a ride, and a car shows up. The cars are driven by everyday people who have applied to be a driver, meeting requirements for their cars and driving skills previously. Some of the great features of Uber are the ability to pick a type of car; ranging from standard to SUV or luxury car, and affordable prices. Students can now call Uber to get to their destination.
The concept is simple: you download the app, say you need a ride, and a car shows up.
What about availability?
Since Uber drivers can chose when they would like to work, it becomes the perfect college job for lots of students. According to an internal report from Uber, 36.9% of all Uber drivers are college students. At any time, a driver can decide to be in-service with the touch of a button and respond to any calls sent out. This is great because even in small towns you can find someone nearby willing to pick you up.
How much does Uber cost?
Because Uber is not offered through a traditional taxi service, price per mile varies widely by location and time of day. A normal rate for a mid-size college town on an average night is about $2.75 base rate, then $1.50 per mile. The biggest problem to watch out for with Uber is surge pricing. Surge pricing is when at peak times, rates spike up to numbers as high as $200 on nights like New Year’s Eve in big cities. Obviously you won’t run in to numbers this high regularly, but watch out on nights like Halloween or big nights out in your town, because rates can increase up to 3 or 4 times the regular rate.
While Uber is still new and has some flaws, it is becoming one of the most convenient ways to travel wherever and whenever you need it.
More on ridesharing:
- Uber News (from their blog)
- Uber just got more affordable for college students
- Austin moves to legalize peer to peer transportation