We caught up with several Dayton Uber drivers to ask them the ins and outs of using the service.
How does the Uber experience compare to riding a taxi? Are costs similar? Why should people choose Uber?
Cory Miller: “Uber is the perfect transportation for the City of Dayton. There are not a lot of taxis actively driving around in downtown Dayton and when you have to call for one it may take up to an hour. … With Uber, I log in and usually can be picked up within 5-10 minutes of a request. Costs for Uber can be anywhere from up to half the price of a taxi. People should choose Uber because it is safe, reliable and user friendly.”
Do you expect riders to tip you for your service? If so, approximately how much percentage-wise?
Miller: “So Uber has a no tip policy. I have had a number of riders who want to tip. … In my opinion, you should tip a driver if he or she has done an exceptional job with regards to getting you to your destination in a timely manner, driven safely, has a clean car and is genuinely friendly.
Ryan Duncan: “I'd love tips but I don't expect tips because almost everyone I pick up does not carry cash.”
According to the Uber website, UberPOOL allows riders to share their ride with others taking a similar route, as a more affordable option. Does Uber offer this option in Dayton?
Miller: “To my knowledge I have not had an UberPOOL fare yet and I do not believe this is available in Dayton, yet. Uber does give you the option to split your fare with your friends you are riding with. All they have to do is have the Uber app and a cell phone number.”
What are typical customer responses and reviews like for Dayton’s Uber?
Miller: Personally, I have not had any bad reviews. I have had a lot of comments about my car cleanliness and appearance. I recently purchased a new car (2016 Honda Accord EX-L) and I always try and make sure the car is in pristine condition because I want my fares to feel safe and comfortable while riding. I have an iPod touch that I let me fares control for music and it has a lot of 90’s music on there and of course the ‘Space Jam’ soundtrack. I get comments on that a lot.
Duncan said that he has received positive responses from customers and has a rating of a 4.9.
How can customers make the most of their experience and ensure they get the best service?
Duncan: “Just be polite and nice. It makes the ride better when people are nice.”
Miller: “Be mindful of the Uber rating system. Be sure to always rate a driver good or bad. A driver with a high rating is ideal, and ones that are lower are not. Personally I will not ride with a driver who has a 4.5 rating or lower. The same goes for riders. Uber drivers rate riders as well so be mindful of that in case you are too loud or have an unfortunate accident within the car. Uber drivers have the option of accepting or declining any fare they pick up.”
On average, how many riders do you pick up and how many stops do you make a day?
Miller: I usually drive Friday and Saturday nights anywhere between 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. and ending anywhere from 3 a.m. to 4 a.m. During that span I pick up roughly 20-25 to fares on a given night, depending on the night. I usually have 2 to 3 riders per fare as well.”
Duncan: “When I drive on Fridays and Saturdays, I go until I make a certain amount of money but most of the time I do about 10 to 15 trips and maybe 20 to 25 riders.”
What is the craziest thing you have seen?
Duncan: “Just a couple that was too 'close' but kept trying to talk to me while messing with each other.”
Miller: “I have had a lot of crazy things happen. One of the most awkward things was a couple who had a very loud and mean fight the entire ride to their house. It was as if they did not know I was sitting in the front seat. … There were a lot of hateful comments said and at the end I wanted to cry I felt so bad just listening to it.”
What else is key to know?
Miller: “Even if you never think you are not going to use Uber, take five minutes to set it up on your phone. You never know where the night will take you and wouldn’t you rather be safe than sorry?”
Duncan: “I'd recommend just not messing up the drivers’ car and when the driver is there, make it easy for the driver to see you. Like it's horrible when I'm picking someone up on a busy night, it's frustrating when I can't find them.”