My husband and business partner travel a lot, so we need transportation from Connecticut to any of the New York airports on a regular basis. Everybody who lives in the Tri-State area knows that’s a nightmare and a half in itself. Two weeks ago we hesitantly ordered an Uber, after a bad experience we had in the past with that app where the driver didn’t show up and we had to race in our own car to catch our flight. I use Uber a lot and usually the experience ranges from nice to OK. Sometimes, the drivers are just not aware of their audience. In my humble opinion, the radio station should be switched to neutral music once a customer gets in the car, but maybe that’s just me.
Rap Music and Shiny Rims
This time, the person arrived on time and in style. The car was all decked out with shiny rims and there was rap music blasting from the speakers. This should be fun, was my first thought because I really like rap (don’t judge me), my husband can’t stand it. He made a courteous request to the driver to change the station, which was fulfilled without any comment or show of emotions.
Then, we were swiftly on our way only to hit heavy traffic on I-95 South that was caused by an accident. These situations always cause some nervousness because a standstill like that could make you miss a flight.
You don’t have an EZ Pass, dude?
We were delayed 45 minutes by the time we reached the Whitestone Bridge, which was OK as we had calculated that into our travel plans, but then the unthinkable happened. We had to get into the Cash Lane because our Uber driver didn’t have an EZ Pass.
Driving to the airport from Connecticut without an EZ Pass is like showing up to a gun fight with a knife. You might as well turn around.
At this point, I became a bit upset. Not with the Millennial Hip-Hop wannabe Uber driver, but with Uber, the company. How the heck would you not require your drivers to have an EZ Pass, especially when they are traveling to New York City? That should be a requirement!
We were held up another 30 minutes and the tension was rising on our end. We finally got to the exit that leads to LaGuardia when the driver passed it because his navigation system told him to go the Marine Terminal, which is 5 miles past the airport. We had asked him to take the correct exit, pleading with him that we knew where we were going, but he completely ignored our request.
What navigation system are you using?
I literally had to hold my husband back from not screaming at the guy, which would have only worsened the situation. We tried to calmly explain that we were off route and after pleading with the driver, he allowed us to guide him to the airport where we arrived just in time to make our flight.
This is when I felt that we might as well could have taken a cab. After all, this was the headline in Forbes on June 19, 2014:
The Uber-Disruptor – What Ride Shares Can Teach You About Disrupting The Market
Continuing in the article by Ken Harrington saying: If you’re trying to build your own disruptive company, there’s a good lesson to learn here. Uber and the app ride-sharing industry could shatter taxi cartels worldwide.
I get it. Uber was developed because there was a need to use transportation using smart technology, making it easier for consumers. Also, cab drivers were notoriously known to be rude and unaccommodating.
After an experience like this, however, I am asking myself. Did the disruptor become part of the problem?
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