Uber: How to Download and Use the Uber App

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  1. Download the Uber app from the app store on your smartphone. Uber is available for download on: iPhone (iOS 7 or newer), Android (Jelly Bean or newer), BlackBerry (BB OS 7 only), Windows Phone 8.
  2. Create an account. Once you have downloaded the Uber app, you will be asked to create an account. Enter your name, email address, phone number, and credit or debit card information. Be sure to enable location services when the option appears, as this will allow for more accurate GPS capabilities when requesting a ride. Once you have filled in your account details read Uber’s terms and conditions to make sure that you are OK with Uber’s terms and privacy policy before continuing on with the service.
  3. Click the Sign Up button. Once you have filled in your account details and read over the terms of service, click the sign up button. Your account will be created and you will be sent an email confirming your new Uber account. You’re now ready to start using Uber.
  4. Fill in the details for your first ride. Once you have completed your account creation, you are ready to take your first ride! You will need to set your pickup location; an address will be auto-populated based on your GPS location but double check to make sure that it is accurate. You can input an address manually if it is incorrect. Next, you will need to choose which level of service you want. Uber offers several types of services based on vehicle type, size, and cost. For the full list of Uber services with descriptions please click here.
  5. Request your ride. Once you submit your request, a nearby Uber driver will be notified of your pickup location. A time estimate will be provided and you will be able to watch your Uber car arrive utilizing the driver’s GPS location. All details surrounding your driver and ride will be provided, including: driver photo, contact information, vehicle make, and license plate number. If you need to give your driver any additional details, you can contact your driver at this stage!
  6. Enter your end destination. Input the address of your final destination while you wait for your ride to arrive. This will save time and provide a route ahead of time.
  7. Enjoy your ride. Once you see your Uber ride approaching your pick up location on your Uber app, start looking out for your Uber car. Once you locate your ride, simply hop in the vehicle. The GPS will provide the driver with a route, but you are able to suggest a better way if you wish. Once you arrive at your destination, simply exit the vehicle. The trip cost will be taken out of your debit or credit card automatically. If you wish to tip, you may do so in cash. Once your ride is over your will receive a receipt via email with a breakdown of the ride, including fare and route explanation.
  8. Rate your experience. Once your ride is marked as complete, you will be prompted to rate your Uber drive. The rating is out of 5 stars, keep in mind Uber drivers must maintain a 4.6 rating in order to be eligible to drive for Uber.


Extra help articles on Uber:

Please click here to learn about Uber’s Surge Pricing

Please click here to learn how to calculate the price of your Uber ride.

Find your Uber Fare with UberFareFinder (Video)

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New to Uber? Need an Uber estimate? Want to avoid Surge Pricing? Check out UberFareFinder.com!

With UberFareFinder.com, you can easily find the price of your Uber ride whether you are riding in an UberX, UberXL, Uber Black, Uber SUV, and so on! UberFareFinder will estimate the price of your ride for every Uber car service available and will even display real-time surge pricing so you can better decide which ride is right for you. Once you have chosen your Uber car choice, you can even dispatch your ride straight from UberFareFinder.

To learn more about UberFareFinder.com, check out this helpful tutorial!

Uber: How to Calculate Your Fare

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Have you ever wondered how Uber calculates their fares? Maybe you have questioned why sometimes after a really short ride you are still charged as much as some of the longer trips you’ve taken? There are a few key components that go into calculating and estimating an Uber Fare, and we are here to explain each factor, as well as how they work together to create the Uber pricing formula.


How is My Uber Fare Calculated?

Your Uber fare is first based on 4 main criteria:

  • Base (or initial) fare – A flat fee charged at the beginning of every ride
  • Cost per minute – How much you are charged for each minute you are inside the ride
  • Cost per mile – How much you are charged for each mile of the ride
  • Booking Fee (Formerly ‘Safe Rides Fee’) – A flat fee to cover Uber’s ‘operating costs’ (Not included for Uber’s more luxury services like UberBlack or UberSUV)

Here’s how Uber uses the 4 main criteria above to calculate your fare:

Base Fare + (Cost per minute * time in ride) + (Cost per mile * ride distance) + Booking Fee = Your Fare


Other Key Factors in Determining Your Uber Fare

There are a few more factors that will play into your Uber Fare that are not included in the 4 main criteria.

Tolls and Fees: Uber requires all passengers to pay for any tunnel, bridge, or toll charges that are incurred during the course of the ride. These charges will be added to your fare total at the end of your trip.

Uber Surge Pricing: Uber surge pricing has a scary connotation but it is actually a fairly simple and, at times, positive principal. Uber surge pricing is when Uber rates increase to guarantee reliability and availability of cars. When the demand for rides cannot be met by the number of current drivers on the road, prices will increase. This encourages more drivers to turn on their app and hit the road since they will make more money than usual. Uber will always notify you in your app before you request a ride if there is surge pricing so you will never be caught off guard. Surge pricing helps to guarantee that there is always a ride available, if you are willing to pay the price!

Your Uber fare, with surge pricing, is calculated by multiplying your total fare (before tolls) by the surge price multiplier. For instance if the surge amount is at 2x your total fare will be doubled, if the surge amount is 3x your total fare will be tripled.

Surge Pricing Example: If your total fare at the end of your trip is $12 and there was a 2x surge in effect, your new total would be $24. Then Uber would add on any incurred tolls.

For more information on Uber Surge Pricing visit this help article here.

Uber Minimum Fare: To encourage drivers to pick up short rides that will not yield much profit, Uber sets a minimum fare for each service. This helps to fairly reimburse drivers for short rides. If the combination of the above criteria results in your fare being lower than the minimum fare, you will be charged the minimum fare price instead. The minimum fare amount changes from city to city.

Minimum Fare Example: It is raining and you decide to take an UberX only two blocks down the street to stay dry.  After your trip ends and you add up the four different variables (as shown above), you calculate that your fare would only be $3.24. But in your area, the minimum fare for UberX is $5, so you will be charged $5 instead of $3.24.


Uber Fare Prices Vary Based on City & Car Service


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The four main criteria factors that we outlined in section 1 (base fare, cost per minute, cost per mile, and booking fee) all vary from city-to-city, and across the many Uber services (UberX, UberXL, UberSUV, UberBlack, etc). To learn more about the differences between each Uber car service visit this help page here.

Now that you understand all the factors that go into your Uber Fare and how time-consuming it would be to calculate it on your iPhone calculator, try UberFareFinder’s Fare Calculator! UberFareFinder will calculate your Uber fare using all of these factors with one easy click of a button. UberFareFinder will even include real-time surge pricing estimates and allows you to book your Uber car straight through the site!

Happy Travels!

Uber Fare Finder; Find, Estimate, & Dispatch Your Ride!

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Need an Uber estimate? Want to know if Uber is surging in your area? Check out our brand new site, UberFareFinder.com! Our team here at TaxiFareFinder has been working hard to create a one stop shop for everything you need to know when you travel with Uber. UberFareFinder not only will estimate your Uber fare, it will also warn you if surge pricing is enacted in your area. This allows our visitors to see what their “real-time” fare is so you can choose the best ride option available. Once you have found an estimate you like, UberFareFinder allows you to dispatch a car directly from the site! Check it out.

When you first visit UberFareFinder.com, you will notice two blank fields, your “starting location” and “ending location”. This is where you will enter your Uber trip details, keep in mind that UberFareFinder supports hundreds of cities around the world!

Pro Tip: When you enter your starting and ending locations you can use addresses, city names, landmarks, business names, zip codes, and even coordinates (latitude and longitude).

Once you have entered your starting and ending locations, UberFareFinder will estimate your fare for every Uber car service available in your area! If your location is surging, UberFareFinder will even factor the surge price into your estimate. See below for an example of a fare estimate in Boston when surge pricing was enacted.

After you have searched for your fare and found an estimate you like, simply click on the “Request Uber” button which will open your Uber app and allow you to dispatch a car without having to enter any additional information.

Have you tried UberFareFinder yet? Let us know your thoughts below. Happy Fare Finding!

What is Uber’s Surge Pricing?

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What is surge pricing?

Surge pricing happens when there is a high demand for Uber cars, meaning that there is a large amount of people who are trying to request an Uber. What surge pricing does is apply a multiplier on every fare, therefore raising their prices. Surge pricing can happen during any day of the week, but it is most common on the weekends. During the week surge pricing is likely to occur at rush hour, and on the weekends it may be enacted during the late hours of the night for people going out and coming home from bars and similar venues. Other times when surge pricing might be enacted is on holidays or during bad whether when a lot of people are looking for rides.

What does surge pricing look like?

If you are requesting an Uber during a surge period, before your request is confirmed a screen will appear on your Uber app that will inform you about the current surge. When the surge is above 2.0x the normal fare, users will have to manually type the surge number in order to acknowledge that they are aware of the price they will be paying. Uber does this so no users are surprised when they see their fare was more expensive than usual.

How long do Uber surges last?

A study from Northeastern University found that Uber surge pricing can often last as little as five minutes. During this study researchers created over 40 Uber accounts and hailed cars in Manhattan and San Francisco over the course of a month. What they found was that the surge pricing lasted for a short period many times, and the surge pricing area was sometimes surprisingly small as well, in Manhattan especially. The study suggested that passengers wait-out surges rather than agree to pay higher prices.

What other companies use surge pricing?

Lyft, Uber’s top competitor, also uses surge pricing, and calls it “PT.” The main difference between Uber and Lyft’s surge pricing is that with Lyft, the drivers are not aware when there is a surge. The Lyft surge area is also a lot smaller than Uber’s. In general it was found that Uber tends to have higher surge rates than Lyft.

Besides rideshare companies, there are also other types of companies that use strategies similar to surge pricing. For example, airlines use similar tactics to sell tickets, and hotels use higher prices to book rooms especially during the busy seasons.

Uber did not invent the idea of charging people a higher price according to demand, but the main difference between Uber and the other companies using similar tactics is that Uber is transparent about how much you are going to pay.

Why Surge Pricing is Controversial:

Surge pricing can be beneficial because it helps to meet the high demand of people needing cars by giving drivers an incentive to turn on their apps, but it is also a controversial topic. Sometimes, the surge prices can be extreme, and it can cost hundreds of dollars to make a journey that normally would cost less than $20. Ridesharing companies like Uber also tend to enact surge pricing when people need cars the most, during dangerous weather conditions such as snow storms and torrential downpours. This makes it harder for people to travel during emergencies unless they are willing to pay the extreme price. Uber has started to cut down on surge pricing during emergencies after many people were disgruntled by their lack of compassion but it seems like there are still plenty of times when people need a ride in an emergency and find themselves faced with an exorbitant bill.

Felicia is an intern at Unleashed, LLC. She is from upstate NY, and is currently pursuing a Marketing degree at Bentley University. One day she hopes to travel the world and visit every continent. 

Would Uber Be Better Without Surge Pricing?

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Over the past couple years, the term ‘surge’ has taken on a whole new meaning.  If you’re not familiar with why it’s so famous, surge is a feature of the popular ridesharing app Uber, and it signifies increased pricing during times of high demand.

According to Uber’s website, “At times of high demand, the number of drivers we can connect you with becomes limited. As a result, prices increase to encourage more drivers to become available.”  On the surface, it sounds simple enough: when demand for rides outweighs available drivers, Uber raises prices to get more drivers on the road.

But as research has proven, surge actually turns out to be more of a re-distribution of drivers than anything else.  And veteran Uber drivers know that it’s a fool’s errand to chase the surge.

Christian Perea, an Uber driver who’s driven in three major cities, told me, “Wise drivers do not chase surge. They do their homework and patiently anticipate it. I only move towards surge areas if they are within five minutes driving distance or if I know that there is a high likelihood of consistent surge for a period of time.”

Would Uber Be Better Without Surge Pricing?

So When Does Surge Work?

Since surge pricing can be so dynamic, it doesn’t work all that well to get drivers off the couch (because it could easily disappear after just one ride).  But it does entice drivers to come out during the biggest events (like New Years or Lollapalooza) and during the busiest times (like the Saturday night closing bar rush when everyone wants to get home).

Driving the party hours (Friday and Saturday nights) is notorious for unruly passengers and drunken rides but there also tends to be a lot of surge.  Uber drivers work these hours because they anticipate increased demand and surge pricing.  I know that I wouldn’t drive a bunch of drunks around until 3 am if I could make the same amount at 2 pm on a Friday.

But while drivers tend to love surge, those same feelings are rarely shared by passengers.  New Year’s Eve is often a prime example of this with fares surging all the way up to 8.9x in certain parts of the country.  A quick sampling on Twitter would tell you that there were a lot of pissed off passengers too.

But Surge Is Great For Drivers Right?

You might think that an Uber driver who earns $89 for a fare that normally costs $10 would be happy about that.  But to them, it feels like Uber is going overboard.

Perea told me, “Surge isn’t as important to me.  I would rather see higher base fares and minimum fares. A driver should get $5 from each ride, seeing payouts for $3.20 on a minimum fare is outright insulting. Especially since they occur often in densely populated areas where it is most difficult and dangerous to drive.”

Perea is referring to the fact that on a $5 minimum fare, drivers only receive a $3.20 payout after Uber’s $1 safe rides fee and 20% commission.  It’s also interesting to note that fares have been cut up to 50% in certain cities like San Francisco over the past year so a 2.0x surge fare today is actually the same price as a regular ride was last year.

Should Surge Be Capped?

This week, NYC Mayor, Bill de Blasio, fresh off a swift defeat at the hands of Uber, proposed a cap on Uber’s surge pricing.  His last tussle with Uber involved limiting the number of Uber cars available in NYC but that was met by a flurry of lobbying from Uber and pressure from NYC residents.  Ultimately, De Blasio backed down on that initiative.

This new strategy to limit surge appears on the surface to target and win over consumers who have legitimate gripes about surge pricing.  But again, it could end up back-firing.  Without surge, there is really no incentive for drivers to be out on the road during times of peak demand which means rides aren’t even available for customers.

Uber has also made it very clear that they oppose any and all restrictions that would cap fares during times other than an emergency like an earthquake.

Should Uber Get Rid of Surge?

Uber is one of the most consumer-friendly companies out there today.  But the one area where they’ve refused to back down from, is surge, which tells me they must know something that we don’t.  According to a blog post by Bill Gurley in 2014, Uber recognized this problem early on.

Many of their drivers were logging off and going home at 1 am, just as all of the partygoers needed a ride home.  Asking drivers nicely to stay online didn’t work, but when they offered a 2-3x premium, low and behold, 2/3 of their unfilled requests were now being filled.  It turned out that drivers were responding to price elasticity.

Gurley also noted that “the next time you see a message indicating that Uber’s surge pricing is in effect: immediately try an alternative other than Uber. In other words, try to hail a cab, call a traditional black car service, find a rental car, or jump on a bus or subway. You will find that availability and reliability for all forms of transportation are under stress at that same precise moment in time. At these times, a fixed price taxi will be highly unavailable, and a fixed price subway will be remarkably over-crowded.”

And there in lies the reason why Uber shouldn’t ever get rid of surge and won’t.  Uber’s number one priority is being reliable and surge pricing makes it so that you can always get a ride when you need it.

There are a lot of passengers who complain about surge pricing but clearly they are still willing to pay it (otherwise they wouldn’t have taken the ride in the first place).  Uber has even gone to great lengths to make sure that riders understand and are aware of surge pricing.  Riders have to physically type in the surge multiplier when requesting a surge ride and they also now have the option of being notified once the surge goes down.

All of these changes have made surge more rider friendly and although it’s still an aggravating feature of Uber, it appears as if it’s an essential part of balancing supply and demand.


About Harry Campbell, The RideShare Guy

Hello TFF Readers, my name is Harry Campbell and I run a blog for rideshare drivers called The Rideshare Guy and I also write about the on demand economy for Forbes.  I’ll be sharing articles from time to time on what’s going on in the world of rideshare and what you need to know as a passenger whether you enjoy taxis, rideshare or all of the above!


What The Uber?! Uber Tricks Riders with Phantom Cars

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If you are an avid Uber user, then you know the wonderful feeling you get when you turn on your app to hail a ride and notice a slew of Uber cars sitting right near your location. You click the button to order an Uber knowing the wait time shouldn’t be more than a couple of minutes, yet when your phone alerts you that an Uber driver is on their way you notice that the wait time is now 15 minutes! Why would a driver so far away pick up your request and not one of the many drivers sitting on your street?

According to Motherboard, those cars that appear to be sitting right on your street are in fact “phantom cars”; fake cars placed in the app by Uber in an attempt to get more riders to request rides. Motherboard explained it like this, “If a potential passenger opened up the app and saw no cars around, she might take another cab service. But if she saw a cluster of cars seemingly milling around on the same street, she’s more likely to request a ride.” When Uber spokespersons were confronted about the phantom car issue their answers ranged from “the number of cars and their location are generally accurate” to “the app is simply showing there are partners on the road at the time”. It seems as though Uber is choosing to be sly (real shocker, we know!) about their phantom car secret.

Have you ever experienced Uber’s “ghost cars” or “phantom cars”? Tell us your stories below!

If you have a What The Uber moment or want to share a What The Uber story please email [email protected] or use the hashtag #WhatTheUber to get your story featured and shared on our social media!