Goodbye Car, Hello Uber

Traveling by Uber or Lyft – by Joyce Forney, PVN resident

Recently, my little blue Nissan wound up in my daughter’s garage in Wilmington, N.C. where she declares it happy.  For me, this is the first time since my marriage in 1946 that I haven’t had access to a car. So how can I get from here to wherever?

For one thing, I’ve got to plan with the help of the new bus schedule (April 1) to get to the Corrigan building.  And I can sign up to go to the store or make a doctor’s appointment.  But what about seeing that friend across town or making a meeting of the League of Women Voters?  Well, for that, I’ve subscribed to Uber and Lyft.  So far, I haven’t detected any difference in cost or quality of service between them.

For either one, you need to be enrolled, which involves their having your credit card information.  That’s so you won’t need to have any exchange of money with the driver; the company will charge the trip and tell you what it cost.  You’ll have an opportunity to add a tip or a compliment for the driver if you wish.

The chief requirement is that you have a “smart” phone and know how to use it.  Once you’ve enrolled with either service, their icon will be on your phone.  That makes it easy to summon them.  And when you do, you will also tap in the address of your destination.

There’s another solution if you don’t have a “smart” phone. Welcome to GoGoGrandparent!  They can be reached at 1-855-464-6872.  Their service is slightly more expensive, as they are prepared to handle passengers who need more assistance with a walker or wheelchair.  But they claim the are 25% cheaper than a cab.  Many of their drivers also drive for Uber or Lyft and will arrive quickly, but you won’t have to type in your destination; you will just tell them.  No cash is involved, and it will show up on your credit card.

Sounds relatively simple and it is.  One last thing: don’t be appalled at the cost of the trip.  Have you calculated what it costs to have your car sitting idly outsider your apartment day after day?  You’ll find doing without saves big bucks.