A lot of people seemed surprised when they learn that I’ve never used Uber.  It’s not that I don’t know much about it.  On the contrary, it’s hard not to notice the popular ride-sharing service.  If you need to get somewhere, Uber could get you there  — quickly and reliably.  What’s not to like?

Things I Don’t Deny

There are obvious pros to the ride-sharing service.

  • Drivers are likely to be friendlier. Passengers can rate their uber ride, so drivers are likely to be friendlier because good rating is good business.  Some taxi drivers could care less about your experience as long as they get you from point A to point B.  I still remembered taking a taxi ride where the driver was having a personal call for most of the ride.  Hello, distracted driving much?
  • It’s fast and reliable — obviously, one of the key benefits of ride-sharing services is that drivers can pick up nearby passengers, resulting in a quick turnaround.  You request a ride and the ride can come in minutes.
  • It’s cost-effective.  If you UberPool (share your ride), you can split the costs of your trip with other passengers who are going in the same direction.
  • Ever heard of self-driving cars?   It’s disruptive technology that is transforming the industry, for better or for worse.  Uber and Google’s Waymo are making strides in that market.

Why I don’t Uber

There are a few reasons I don’t uber, with the primary reason that I typically don’t have a need for it.   I drive regularly and I’m more likely to give rides.  That is not to say that I don’t have other reservations about ride-sharing services.

  • Safety:  Reports of sexual assaults in the news are concerning.  To be clear, I am not saying this is exclusively an Uber problem.  However, as the largest ride sharing company, these incidents don’t do well for its reputation.  There are still safety tips that passengers could follow, but I can’t say I am entirely comfortable with Uber rides.  I understand that no system is perfect (including how drivers are vetted), but let’s just say Uber is not the mode of transportation that comes to mind when I need a ride.
  • Not a fan of Uber’s Work Culture:   I am not a fan of Uber’s work culture.  I recognize that there are many hardworking Uber drivers working to make some extra income.  They are the backbone of the company, and they are not at fault.  However, I also want to support companies that I like.  Until the company makes substantive improvements, I’m going to vote with my money.

That is not to say that I’ve never tried ride-sharing services.  A friend ordered a “ride” for a couple of us when we were traveling abroad.  The company was called something else, but it was basically the same concept as Uber.  We had a perfectly safe and comfortable ride.  I also know quite a few people who raved about how convenient Uber is.  I don’t dispute any of that; in fact, I even expect ride-sharing services to become even more ubiquitous in the future.  It’s just that Uber isn’t quite there yet as a company I want to support.  And until it is, it’s nice to know that I got options.