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An UBER cool way to get around the Motor City

UBER Detroit launch - photo source UBER Facebook page

You decided today would be the day you’d get to the auto shop early to have your oil change done.  Instead of the easy trip in and out, they diagnose your car with a few issues that will take a while to fix.

You’ve got a few choices.  You can either take their courtesy shuttle to work, which won’t be available for at least an hour, or you can cancel a bunch of meetings and wait while work piles up on your desk.

Or you could choose option three, arrive to work in style.

Uber Detroit ImagesYou pull out your phone, hop on your UBER app and a black car will arrive in minutes to whisk you away.  While you’re waiting, you watch the car assigned to you on a map as it approaches, so you know with confidence when it will arrive.  No waiting for a bus or hoping the cab company really dispatched someone.  And, no haggling with your driver over payment at the end of your ride.

Sound too good to be true?  It no longer is in the Motor City.  UBER is now in Detroit.  According to area general manager Michael White, a lot of Detroiters have been patiently waiting their arrival.

“Before we even started putting any cars on the road here, we had 1,000 users signed up for our app and were looking for cars in the metro Detroit area,” says White.

Detroit is the 29th city for UBER, so many of those 1,000 people were used to seeing the service in other markets.  They were treated to rides in quality, clean cars and the ability to rate their drivers immediately.  That feedback is part of what sets UBER apart from most transportation experiences.

People enjoying UBER Detroit launch - photo source: UBER“We hold our drivers to a high standard,” says White.  “When we onboard drivers, we’re very particular about the type of vehicle they bring to us.  And we get this feedback loop from our riders who are rating our drivers every time.  We’re providing that feedback regularly to the drivers.”

To use UBER, you have to create an account with the company and provide a credit card.  Your card is charged once your ride is complete, so you don’t need to worry about carrying cash or wonder if the car you ordered can take your card.  Once you’ve created an account, using the service is pretty easy from any smartphone.

Getting a car is easy.  You either drop a pin or enter your pickup address.  You’ll see an estimated time of arrival.  If you like what you see, you hit the Request Black Car button and your car is on the way.  One of the cool features of the app is being able to watch the car assigned to you on a map, so you know exactly when to expect your ride.

At the end of your ride, your credit card on file is charged, so you don’t need to worry about carrying cash.  You can rate your driver on the spot, a part of the service UBER takes seriously.

As UBER’s Detroit community manager Sara Walker noted, for many people, this becomes a convenient little luxury.  In a city that is built for automobiles, this little luxury seems tailor-made for Detroit.

UBER Detroit launch - photo source UBER Facebook page

UBER Detroit Launch Event

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8 comments on “An UBER cool way to get around the Motor City

  1. Not sure if it is still valid, but Uber was giving out a $20 credit for new users. Try the promo code DetSteve.

  2. I'm curious to know why this article didn't reveal the company's pricing strategy. How does UBER stack up with cab fares? UBER (wow, that name will be annoying in a few months) doesn't seem affordable to many.

  3. Jared,
    They do acknowledge that they are more expensive than a typical cab, although friends who frequently take a car from Downtown to the airport say the prices are comparable.

    Where UBER says the expense is justified is from their pledge to always have clean cars, never needing cash (including for tips, you can do that on their app), courteous drivers and their app.

    Here are a few sample fares from their website:
    Downtown Detroit to Wayne State University$18
    Renaissance Center to Downtown Grosse Pointe$31
    Downtown Detroit to Downtown Royal Oak$46
    DTW Airport to Birmingham$88
    Downtown Birmingham to Downtown Royal Oak$25

  4. For events you can ride with the Detroit Bus Company instead. A ride is $5 and you can get on/off anywhere on the loop. Oh, and it's a Detroit company!!

  5. Not certain in the event that it is still substantial, but rather Uber was giving out a $20 acknowledgment for new clients. Attempt the promo code DetSteve. Thanks and check it

  6. Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.

  7. Quite possibly there's nothing as fine as a big freight train starting across country in early summer, Hardesty thought. That's when you learn that the tragedy of plants is that they have roots.

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