Sunday, 12 October 2014

Uber then!

I apologize for being so "quiet" for a while. I have been travelling quite a bit, plus of course, the market hasn't been too interesting and I am wary of a black October crash looking at how volatile the markets are lately. 

I had the chance to tick off one of my bucket list in October where I was in transit for 7 hours in San Francisco for a business trip but the experience is probably half baked and disappointing. 

Golden Gate Bridge

Some of my to do items including a visit to the Golden Gate Bridge and to Alcartraz. My client who is a local in SF advised that Alcartraz is probably like our Changi Prison. How can it be?! So he said to me, "why not we do it this way. I take you to the coastline, send you across the harbor and you take the ferry back. You will get to "see" the bridge and the Alcartraz at the same time."

Sounds like a plan for a short transit trip. The coast line is quite scenic and you can see the whales migrating when it is in season. 

Wow I crossed the famous Golden Gate Bridge seen in the movie Monsters and Gozilla? Anyway this bridge is featured so many times in Hollywood movies that I was quite disappointed. It wasn't as impressive as I what I have imagined. Probably due to the heightened expectations caused by Hollywood movies. 

I didn't realize SF is quite foggy on one side and clear and sunny on the other side. So if you stay on the left side of the bridge, you are covered in fog quite a bit. 

Anyway to cut the long story short, I missed the ferry at 6pm and watch it moved away. I have to wait for the next ferry at 7pm by which time it is too dark to see the bridge and the Alcartraz from the ferry :(

Might as well enjoy some fresh calamari and a glass of wine while waiting for my ferry :-P

Here comes the ferry at 7pm and I was crossing the bay like one of the locals. The one way trip cost US$11 and I see no bridge and no Alcartraz. Urrggggg... Too dark. 

Fisherman wharves

One good thing about Google and Internet is information is at your fingertips. I visited Alioto for dinner and it is like the "must eat place" here. Probably locals will not go and cater to tourists like myself. Hahaha. Alioto was started by Italian family that migrated there and you can probably Google the information yourself. 

Eating alone for business trip can be an art. You either love or hate it. I like to do it once in a while but not too often. 

Anyway I am a "crab" fanatic. Haha. This is the local Dungeness crab caught off the SF bay. It is hotly baked and tasted sweet with a dash a lemon. Simple and nice. 

What has the title got to do with my post so far?

Uber then?

Today I am going to share with you the art of saving money in USA if you are travelling there. 

After my dinner, it's time to go back to the airport to take the flight back. This is the first time I am trying uber. 

With a simple click of the button, the app accurately pointed the place where you are waiting for the cab and magically one Toyota Pirus with the face of the driver appeared in 3 minutes. 

The few advantages are:
1. You can have a fee estimate of how much the fare will cost you before clicking that you want a cab. 
2. It will cost you $15-30 cheaper than a regular taxi. 
3. No tipping is required and no cash changed hands. You will get an email for the trip thereafter. 
4. Simple to use and your first trip is heavily subsidized. My trip to the airport cost me about $5 after netting off the $30 first time use promotion. 
5. The car is very new and clean compared to the cabs I have taken in the past and it is "safer" due to authentication requirement. You know exactly who you are expecting to pick you up as you will have his name and a picture. 

Promotion for my readers

Anyway here is the promotion for you in case you are interested to get a discount of your first ride. Just key in roitb when you book the cab via uber. 

Pls note that the amount 10,000W is in KRW is because I first downloaded the app when I was in South Korea this year. I had wanted to try out the app back then. 

Uber is pretty controversial

Uber has been a very controversial app because the cab companies and taxi drivers couldn't handle the impact of the app. 

According to the uber driver, it has put many taxi companies out of business. Singapore has also been trying to restrict the use of the app citing that it is illegal. 

The driver is financing his new Toyota Pirus with side income from Uber. He receives 80% of the proceeds he make and get paid once a week. The income can be pretty substantial and he works only when he is free. 

Actually if uber is successful, many of us can have a side income and the taxi system can be really efficient. 

Imagine you using your own car to send someone home when you leaves office and get paid for it? This will give you a side income but for the consumer, it will also mean a faster ride home and at a much cheaper fare than a regular taxi. 

This app will revolutionize how people travel but only if regulators are able to accept this change and the impact it will have on taxi drivers livelihood. 

Will it change the world and how people travel? I will be keen to know but for sure I will be using the app the next time I visit USA and countries that support this. 

If LTA accepts Uber, maybe I can earn some side income too!

1 comment:

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