September 28, 2015
Is Franklin an Uber town?
I’ve often wondered if the highly contentious, always in the news, rideshare company Uber operates in our town of Franklin, TN. I decided to experiment and find out for myself and the only way to do that was to experience Uber first hand.
The quick answer is that the whole thing is so brilliantly simple and works from your smart phone!
This past weekend was a good trial due to the “Pilgrimage” festival that was in town and having hitchhiked around New Zealand as an 18 and 19 year old I liked the idea of just helping people out and feel comfortable jumping into a stranger’s car.
Firstly, getting approved to ride with Uber was much easier than getting approved to drive with them. To be a passenger you just have to have a credit card and confirm an email address but to be a driver you have to pass several background checks which took a full week (I found this somewhat reassuring that when getting into someone else’s vehicle, they had passed the same background checks I had to!).
My first question – how long would I have to wait to get picked up? I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was rarely ever more than 10 minutes away from a pickup vehicle no matter which part of Franklin I was in. I also learned that Uber was giving a $20 free ride for the Pilgrimage festival so I asked them for a promotion code and if you’d like a $20 credit on your first ride sign up here. This meant my first trip across town was absolutely free and there’s nothing better than free!
My next question was about billing – how does it work? At the time of sign up you provide a credit card and your fare charges to the card. No embarrassing moment at drop off where you search for the right amount of cash or expect your driver to make change for you. Even better when offered a tip, Uber drivers are supposed to let you know that tipping is not necessary – tipping is entirely optional (based on my experience some drivers definitely deserved and got a tip!).
The passenger side of the equation received a big thumbs up from me, but what about being a driver? I have to be honest and say I loved my evening as an Uber driver so much on Friday evening that I did it again on Saturday evening! Helping people (mostly from out of town) get around Franklin was great. The daily news shows only ever tell us about the all the bad people in the world and my faith in humanity is shining brighter than ever before.
Did I make any money? Well yes, but that was not the real point of the exercise. I figured that I made about $25/hour after my costs of gas (not near enough to plan a career change!). I’m sure if I really got good at it I could do better – there are stories of people grossing close to $100,000 a year and if you want to be a driver you can receive a $100 sign on bonus.
Overall, I’m an Uber convert – I’ve always complained that Franklin isn’t serviced by a taxi company but now I don’t care anymore, I’ll be riding in someone else’s car!
As you know, real estate is my business and I’m always ready to assist you with your Franklin Real estate needs – buying or selling I have over 14 years experience and a group of clients who consistently feel like I treated them as I would family. I can always be reached at 615 579-7909 via Facebook and of course Email.