Much controversy has been behind the applications and services to make transport in private vehicles cheaper in recent months.
Today the circle closes with the landing of Uber in Madrid, where it is already possible to make use of the ride-sharing service, which would be something similar to cheap taxis operated by private individuals.
Two are the main differences of Uber with the conventional taxi. On the one hand there is no need to go down to the street and wait for a free taxi to appear, but everything is managed from the application, which will notify us when our driver is waiting and also allows us to pay by registering a credit card, removing in the middle the use of cash. And on the other hand the most obvious, they are not taxi drivers, they are private drivers.
This is the controversial part of the matter, and is that in addition to the protests that have already taken place in the past, now that Uber begins to operate in Madrid are preparing new mobilizations from the taxi sector to prevent this service and others similar prosper. Of course, the price of Uber is lower than that of conventional taxi, which will facilitate its popularization.
The company offers many services, including luxury transport, but the modality that we find in Madrid is uberPOP, which is the one that puts clients in contact with private drivers, to which we will refer simply as Uber.
Uber as a client
Using Uber has no mystery, and one of its keys is the simplicity of the service. To order a vehicle from Uber we simply have to have installed the Android, iPhone or BlackBerry application, register from the web or from the application, add a credit card, confirm our phone number (if you are having problems with this step you are not the only ones, it happens to us too) and start using it indicating the location to which our driver will have to go.
In Uber we can only ask for vehicles from the applications (there is no possibility to do so from the web), and it is necessary to ask for a driver in advance, since it can only be done at the moment. Uber assures that it will never take more than 15 minutes, but it is something that will have to be checked.
One of the most controversial destinations since the entry into force of the single fare will be the airport, which is that Uber allows it as its origin and destination, this being one of the biggest savings.
An interesting promotion offered by Uber is the possibility of getting free trips by inviting friends, and every time someone travels with your code, both he and you will get a free trip. You can access this promotion from here.
You can also access your profile, travel history and management of payment methods from the Uber website.
How much does Uber cost?
To calculate the cost of the trip, Uber charges € 1 of base, to which it is necessary to add 0.15 € / minute and 0.65 € / kilometer, with a minimum per route of € 3. As an example I have taken your calculator and a route that normally costs me € 20 has an estimated price of € 12-17, so I would have to put it into practice to make the exact accounts. As the rate also depends on the time, we can never get an exact estimate since it depends on traffic, but what is clear is that we save with respect to the conventional taxi.
Here you have a very interesting calculation, the price from the door of the Sun to the Airport, which by taxi costs € 30 since the single airport tariff works:
Uber as a driver
Although the drivers of Uber are particular, it is necessary to pass some tests on the part of the company, reason why not anyone can be part simply by lowering an application, is something more complex.
According to Uber, to be a driver and be part of the service, “a rigorous selection process is carried out to verify that each driver is insured and legally qualified to drive.”
If you want to be an Uber driver you have to go to this address partners.uber.com.
Is Uber legal?
This is the question that generates so much controversy. Evidently the taxi drivers claim that it is illegal, while the company defends its legality. How can we solve this problem?
Unfortunately it falls within the interpretation, but it seems to fall closer to illegality than to legality. According to article 101 of Chapter IV of the Law on the Regulation of Transport, private drivers can only charge as long as this only serves to cover the expenses of travel, so they could not make money with it.
Everything depends on what we consider “travel expenses”. According to Uber the cost of the trip only serves to cover these expenses, not earning anything drivers with it, and that is clear, not only takes into account the price to cover gasoline for a journey, but the associated costs such as insurance, maintenance, parking, etc. We will see if this is enough to defend themselves once they have to face serious accusations.
For now the service is working in Madrid, and little by little it will expand to more cities, it’s a matter of waiting.