Over the last few weeks I’ve seen a lot of local South African tweeters and media give up their car for a week and use Uber only. That’s because the month of June marks the first anniversary of UberX in South Africa. To celebrate Uber has cut their UberX prices by 20% (you have one more week – take advantage!).
I can’t do that. I drive 130km a day and run a pretty tight schedule. I also sit in some rotten traffic. Using UberX for the day, despite the discount, would be silly. If I’m honest, for a single twenty something girl like me, UberX is less about day to day getting around and far more about giving me a safe and secure way to get home after a night out.
I drive dry. This means that unless I have a designated driver I don’t drink on a night out at all. A service like UberX allows me the chance to let my hair down and go on a bit of a razzle. However, in the past few months there have been some safety concerns regarding the Uber service. I have used UberX numerous times in and around Johannesburg late at night – I’ve never felt unsafe while being driven home. I’ve also used UberX in New York, London and San Francisco and, again, never felt nervous. In fact I ended up making a great friend in my San Francisco Uber driver.
Travelling as a girl, on your own, can be nerve wrecking. More so when you’ve had a bit to drink. Here are a few ways to stay safe when using Uber:
1. Once you’ve confirmed your Uber, screen grab the driver information and what’s app it to a friend. That way they have the car registration and driver contact details.
2. When you get in your Uber, if you feel at all nervous or uncomfortable with the driver, get out. Have a conversation with him before you give him route information, that way you can determine what you “gut instinct” says.
3. Share your ETA with a friend. Uber allows you to share your route information and estimated time of arrival with a friend or family member. That way they can track your trip’s progress and ensure you stay safe.
4. Don’t over do it: Yes, we all like to have a few glasses of wine, but if you’re passing out in the back of an Uber on the way home – you’re asking for trouble. Enjoy yourself, but in moderation.
5. Travel with a buddy. If you’re nervous about being alone in an Uber late at night why not share the trip with a friend?
Disclaimer: As part of the UberX anniversary celebrations I was gifted with Uber credits to give the service a whirl during the month of June.
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