Uber has been in the news a lot recently but many people wonder what exactly Uber is. The answer is that Uber is in fact only an app for a smart phone but it is what that app can do which is perhaps controversial. Founded in the US in 2009, the Uber app can out people in need of a ride, in touch with a driver prepared to give them that ride. This means that by simply using the app and putting in it where you are and where you want to go to, a car will come and pick you up. Of course in order for this to be possible, there must also be some drivers of cars that also have the app so they can respond to the request and offer the ride. To achieve that, the founders of Uber asked any drivers that would like to make some extra money, to get the app and start receiving money for giving people rides. It was up to the drivers to provide the vehicle as Uber only made the connection between those wanting a ride and those prepared to make money giving a ride. This opened up a great chance for any driver that owned their own car, to make some extra money. A lot of drivers immediately applied for the app and wanted to start; after all it was a way to make extra money by working the hours you chose and not having any boss to worry about. The passengers would pay Uber by smart phone and they would pay the drivers, after they had taken what was for them of course. This system seemed to be a big success and soon Uber apps were available internationally in countries as diverse as the UK and France, to Kenya and Mexico.
To encourage more people to start to use Uber, an uber promo code was introduced, affording people a free or reduced price first ride with Uber. This promo code was a success and many more people started to use Uber world-wide. Today there are other companies that have followed Uber and although some of them have found success locally, they have not been able to match Uber’s success internationally.
The controversy with Uber is often created by the more traditional taxi drivers whose business is being eroded by the Uber drivers. Although it is understandable that the taxi drivers would be upset but their protests are not just sour grapes as some of them are perhaps justified. One of the taxi drivers claims is that the uber drivers are not properly licenced and insured to carry passengers and this should be everybody’s concern, not so much the licence but certainly the insurance. In some instances, regular car insurance does not cover injury to fare paying passengers and that needs to be looked into. The taxi drivers have though, invoked enough interest for all local authorities where Uber operate, to look into the licence and insurance of Uber cars and make their own decisions for their own areas.