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Author Topic: This is off-topic, but I'm sure it is okay
smitty195
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Hi Richard,

I think Uber is a "learning curve". That's how I think of it. I am still learning new things every day, because they have an incredible number of web pages that just seem to go on and on and on. But to answer your question about which vehicle you select, that is done through the app itself. So you would need to go to the App Store (if you have an Apple phone, if you have a different type of smartphone, then go to that company's App Store). But you just download the free Uber app. After it's downloaded, create a free account. When you create a free account, they WILL ask for a credit card or debit card number. You can not skip this step---it is mandatory. Uber is completely cashless and no tipping is allowed----it's all handled on your app.

So once you have your app, you'll need to play around with it a little bit, but you will see the black "thing" in the middle of your screen. You just use your finger to move that black "thing" around so that it is on top of your current location (or is on top of where you want to be picked up). Then, you will see at the top of the Uber screen there is a white box. You can tap on that white box and that brings up your keyboard. You can type your destination into there. So now, the app has a beginning location and an ending location. The only thing you need to do is select your type of service that you want. That is done at the bottom of the app:

-Uber X is the "normal" thing (Honda Accord, Toyota Prius, Honda Civic, Ford Fusion, etc, etc.....it will be a four-door sedan, and all cars receive a 150 point safety inspection by a mechanic that Uber pays us to get done at a location that THEY select)

-Uber XL is a larger vehicle, such as an SUV. It could be someone like me with an Infiniti JX35 (aka: QX60----exact same car), Chevy Suburban, Nissan Pathfinder, Dodge SUV (I forget what Dodge calls their SUV), etc.

The cheapest cost of everything that they offer is Uber X. Next up is Uber XL, and that's just a tad more. You can use the slider at the bottom of the app to choose a service, and you will see the estimate change as you change vehicles.

Uber Black is a very specific car, and that list is online. Use this website to look at all of the vehicle types. Click on any type on the left, and then it will describe for you what type of vehicle it means:

http://sanfrancisco.ubermovement.com/products/

Good luck!

Posts: 2355 | From: Pleasanton, CA | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
smitty195
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I hope the Moderator (and my friends here) will allow me to post this. It is not offensive or anything like that---it is political. Mike Smith and I, as most people already knew, are politically conservative people. I think it's safe to say that he was more "hardcore" than I am. He had conservatism in his blood and was sure that what he was doing and who he was voting for was right. On the other hand, I study, study, study, study, and then study some more. I was a poor student in junior high and high school. Who the heck cared about American Government in the 10th grade? Who cared about reading Time Magazine for homework every week? If you put two and two together, you can very easily figure out where my mind was at that time. I'm in high school.....10th grade.....15 and 16 years old during the school year......and they want me to WHAT??? Sit down and read Time Magazine??? No thank you. I daydreamed a lot, and my interest in politics was a big fat Z E R O .

But then as life went on and I grew out of that stage like we all do, I found that I became naturally interested in politics, current events, American and World History, and culture. The classes I took in college gave me Straight As. At the time, I told myself that I wished I had the knowledge that I have now while I was back in high school, particularly in one specific class (AGWA it was called---American Government and World Affairs). Not surprisingly, both teachers were very liberal (it was two classrooms made into one by sliding the dividing wall away, thus making it a huge class, thus, two teachers at once---there were over 100 students in that class). But I sometimes tell myself, "If only I knew back then what I know now, it would have been so fun to debate the teacher because he was provably wrong on almost everything he taught us. I didn't know it at the time----but it was later on that I learned things and said to myself, "Hey! Mr. (blank) taught us the opposite of this. What's the deal??!!!".

So I just wanted to "set the table", if you will, so that my next comments will make sense. Thank you for allowing me to do this. I would not do this if I didn't feel the need to, and I am pausing every now and then to wipe the tears away. I still can't believe he is gone. And on Thursday I go to the memorial mass for my 911 Dispatcher who was under my charge for six years. I left Communications for Patrol to become a cop, and I told her that she's pretty lucky because I was her boss and told her what to do, but now that I'm a cop, she's the only one who can tell me where to go! We miss you, Robin. I don't know if I will hold it together or not, but I will try. I hope 12T69 is up there waiting for you, and you can tell him to stop mumbling into the microphone and speak clearly for once! [Smile]

So anyway, Mike and I had a "thing" going back and forth about Ted Cruz. It was always good-natured, and of course Ted Cruz is from Texas and that's where Mike is. Or was. A few months ago, I wrote on his FB wall somethings about Cruz that was a follow-up to something he had written. I told him that my police officer's "sixth sense" that kept me alive during my career is still with me even today, and will probably be with me forever. But I told him that I am getting something from Cruz that really makes me uneasy. I said that I can't articulate what it is because I'm not sure what it is. He asked for specifics, but I could not give them because it was a sense that something was wrong, not something that I could put my finger on. He said something to me along the lines of, "Well if you ever figure it out, let me know". So I said okay, and I meant it.

And now that Mike is gone, I have the closest answer to what it is that really bothers me about Cruz--but Mike is not here to see it or discuss it. But I think if I put it here, he will see it. (I do believe that those who are departed have some type of contact with us, even if it's just one-way....I'm sure of it). So that's why I'm putting this here----so I can follow-up on my promise to him. I would have put it on his FB wall, but I think it's gone (and if it is there, I doubt it's monitored). So here ya go Mike.....my sixth sense on Cruz and why I can't like him:

Unfortunately, I still don't have great specifics. I have almost none. But my feeling has grown stronger and stronger. But some examples of why I think something is wrong with him (not "wrong" I guess, just weird---weird might be a better answer). And something very odd is happening right now. Literally, I mean LITERALLY as I type these words, Ted Cruz is on TV right now giving a press conference from Indiana saying that he is dropping out of the race. I did not expect that tonight. Not at all. Wow!

Well, Mike would not be happy. He really liked Cruz and I did not care for him. And Cruz just thanked Carly Fiorina who "has been a phenomenal running mate". Ummm.....hasn't she been a "phenomenal running mate" for something like three days? And in her one major appearance, she pulled a magic act of disappearing from stage. Did anyone see that video? It's hillarious---I can't stop laughing and I watch it over and over again.

But to the point, Mike, I know you can see this. The best articulation I can give you is that the man is an oddball. He picked a VP at a VERY odd time and he did not even get a one percent bump from it. He also is way, way too preachy and I don't like preachy. He also is not a fighter at all. He speaks as if he will get warmed up to fight some day, but "some day" never happens. He would never tell Hillary, "You're a criminal and you should not even be in the race". He just doesn't have the guts.

But now, it doesn't even matter. Cruz is shockingly out! So I don't think your guy is gonna do much for you this time. I told you it would be Trump. And now you owe me a Texas authentic BBQ dinner, although at this time I have no way of collecting it. Do they have BBQs up there? They must. How can it be Heaven without 'em?? Hah hah!


Okay folks, I'm done. Please don't petition this to be taken down. If you really want it down for some reason, can you email me and tell me your reason? My email address is asmith195@comcast.net This is the way I thought I could finish our bet and conversation. I promised him I would do it, and now it is done. I am so incredibly full of grief and I've been trying to keep my head up every day. But it's not easy losing two at once. I think it shocked me because when I found out, I slept four almost 48 hours after that.

I didn't proofread this, but I will this evening---I promise. I just need to lay down again. It took some doing for me to write this because I figured it's something I should complete. I just don't get how he's gone, or how Robin's gone, or how Ruby's gone, or Scott, or Steve, or Henry, and many more.....I hope I get a break now and no more middle of the night phone calls with "sad information". I can not take another one. Literally. I'm exhausted, and my words might be rambling (if so, sorry). Losing people is something I was never prepared for--by anyone. Parents, peers, school, church, ANYONE. I'll stop here since I'm strayed way off-topic and I'm really tired and a bit upset right now. My mood-o-meter will return to normal, I'm sure. (And on a side-note, my former co-worker who still works at the police department was involved in an OIS (Officer Involved Shooting) last night in the middle of the night. He stopped a car for several different reasons, and the suspect got out and fired shots. The front of the police car is all covered in holes and the windshield is shattered. He got off some shots at the suspect but he fled on foot. He did the right thing----stayed in the car where the best cover is. For those wondering, he wasn't trying to conceal---he was trying to cover. Big difference, and he did the right thing. That's my department's second OIS in the last year. So many of my friends involved in weird stuff totally at random. [Frown]

Thank you again for allowing me to have free reign on something that means a lot to me. I had to finish that conversation. Please try to ignore it and not ask me to delete it. But if it really bothers you. I'll delete it---but I really don't want to. Thanks. I really do appreciate it.

Posts: 2355 | From: Pleasanton, CA | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
DonNadeau
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Hi Smitty,

No worries about your comments being taken down - the title above all of our comments is "This is off-topic [Amtrak] . . .."

Personality can play such a big role in politics. One reason for Trump's victory over Cruz may be that more people would have felt more comfortable socializing in a tavern with Trump than with Cruz.

--------------------
@DonNadeau

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MargaretSPfan
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Smitty ---
Me, too -- no problemo talking about your political beliefs and how you arrived at them. And my heart goes out to you as you continue to deal with the passing of two close friends in a very short time, and the weird stuff so many of your friends are having to deal with now. I do hope things get much better for you soon - much more ordinary. You deserve that.

About Uber:
Did you happen to read what "BOB2" posted on altamontpress dot com about Uber and Lyft, etc.? (This is the second part of his post on the "Motorcars and FRA certification, etc." thread.) He made a very important point about financial liability and risks that every Uber and Lyft, etc., driver is exposed to while on the job. Here is the link to his post:

http://www.altamontpress.com/discussion/read.php?1,133126,133162#msg-133162

I care about you, and do not want you to be taken advantage of.

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smitty195
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Sorry folks, I did not check back here until today. And thank you for letting me write that out, even though it was rambling. I try not to ramble but I was really searching for what to say and I still don't think I did it right, but if Mike does have an afterlife and is seeing this, he'll know I at least tried.

Margaret, thank you for the link to Altamont Press and the Uber/Lyft stuff. One thing I can say for sure is that Uber sure is a complex setup. (Lyft might be as well, but I only know about Uber.....however, there are several Uber drivers who do Lyft as well and make some very decent money, but the stuff they have to keep track of is ridiculous! It's like walking a tightrope if you're doing both). As for insurance and stuff, before I did anything with Uber, I called my auto insurance company which is USAA. They told me what I kinda figured they would, which is that USAA provides ZERO coverage while I have the app turned on and I am "logged in". I can turn the app on and still have USAA coverage, but once I "log in" so that I am waiting for a ride to be sent to me, that's when my USAA coverage drops. Uber has a page that explains who is responsible for exactly which portion of a trip: Logged in and waiting for a ride request, driving to the location to pick someone up, picking them up and having the person in the car with me, then dropping them off and me having no passengers but still being logged-in. I read it as carefully as I could, and the best I can tell is that Uber's insurance covers me from one million dollar in liability, and then the limits for other stuff exactly match what I have from USAA dollar-for-dollar (comprehensive, medical, etc). On my Uber Partner app (drivers are called "Partners", unless you are a commercial driver, then they are called "Drivers"), there is an area I can tap on that says "Waybill", and then inside of that area is a copy of the insurance policy. It specifies what's covered, and the best I can tell is that I'm totally covered by their policy when I am logged-in to the Partner app. I hope I've read and understood things correctly. I've also read websites that I've found by doing some Googling where people explain it as they understand it. What's interesting is that, so far, no two people have described the same thing. There is no doubt that there is confusion amongst the drivers about insurance coverage. I sure hope I'm understanding it right!! It's fun to meet nice people and take them places---I actually enjoy doing it. I think I already mentioned this in a previous post somewhere, but I play railroad DVDs on the two back-seat TV screens (they are 8 inch screens built into the back of each front seat's headrest). It's interesting hearing what people will say when they see the trains playing when they get in. I do anything I can to maintain a "5" status (if you get ratings from riders and the average is 4.6 or less, Uber could remove you from their system). Uber is definitely a complex company that is making tons of money. Did you know that they specifically tell people "We are NOT a transportation company. We are a software company, and we have nothing to do with transporting people". From their end of things, they say that they only provide the means, via an app, to be connected with someone who needs a ride somewhere. Each "Partner" or "Driver" is an independent contractor. They've come up with a clever way to be a transportation company without being called one. And I must admit that I am continuously blow away by their app and how it interacts automatically with the rider's app. It's a very powerful little doodad that's for sure.

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MargaretSPfan
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Hi, Smitty!

No problemo with rambling. Actually, it did not come across at all as rambling. And it is very important that we be able to speak our minds without always thinking we have to be concise.

And, in case I hadn’t said so before, I think it is soooo cool that you play RR videos for your passengers, and it is even cooler that they like them! How wonderful! Definitely a great plus for your lucky passengers!

About Uber and auto insurance --
I know nada except for what I read on Altamont Press dot com. I think Uber owes it to it to its drivers to be clear about what they cover with their insurance and what they don’t. Obfuscation is wrong. And Uber should stop obfuscating.
+And, yes, it is way past time that every single person who drives for Uber (or Lyft, etc.) be a real employee, with good benefits, and be represented by a good union. This “contractor” business is ridiculous! And, yes, they are in the transportation business.

Oh, well.....

I do very much hope you will continue to enjoy your work for Uber. If one is a good driver and enjoys driving -- even in the Bay Area’s traffic -- it can be a great way to meet interesting people. Many people are so interesting that they really should write books about their lives.

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palmland
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Smitty, every Uber driver I've talked to loves the freedom of being an independent contractor. As you well know, you can set your own hours so that it fits into your schedule, not your employer. And I, as a customer, love it because of how easy it ease to use - no money necessary, always a nice car, and so are the drivers.

Amazing how that works when your performance, and pay, is tied directly to satisfying the customer without a supervisor getting in the way. The drivers seem to realize it's in their own best interest to be pleasant, courteous, and professional. Quite different than the taxi drivers who are just putting in the required hours. Uber is the kind of innovation we need more of in this country. Let's hope politics and regulations don't screw it up.

I'll get to sample it again in Sacramento and Seattle next month.

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smitty195
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Thanks for the kind words about Uber! I am finding that I really enjoy doing it----people are so friendly. There are lots of things that Uber "suggests" you do as a driver (or "Partner") to make the rider's experience better, but so far everyone tells me, "NOBODY does that". Well, I'm doing it----I think it's great. I always tell people that they have their own temperature and fan controls in the back seat (it's a luxury SUV with every bell and whistle you can imagine!), so they can digitally set the exact temp, such as "71 degrees" on the digital readout, and then hit "Auto" or they can control the fan speed themselves. I also have an Apple Lightning Connector that I ran to the back seat, and I always tell people they're free to use it if they need to charge their Apple device while we're driving. Also, as long as they are plugged in to that connector, they have full control of the music and the volume. Some people don't care and just want a ride, but other people love being able to charge their device and play their own music on my car's Bose stereo. I'm the only one around here that offers that service from what I've been told.

And also palmland, like you said, for the drivers and partners, you work whenever you want to! It doesn't get much easier than that. I'm hoping for someone to get in and say something like, "I need to go to Sacramento". That would be so awesome!!! Awesome because of $$$$. That would be my one ride for the day because that would pay very well. And rides like that actually DO happen much more frequently than most realize. People need to go pretty much everywhere----it's awesome!

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HopefulRailUser
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Plan to try Uber in Seattle, King Street Station to the W Hotel downtown.

The new court ruling indicated that tipping can now be encouraged. Is that your understanding Smitty?

--------------------
Vicki in usually sunny Southern California

Posts: 949 | From: Redondo Beach, CA | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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