Wednesday, September 10, 2014

GETTING AROUND MEXICO CITY SAFELY: UBER IS HERE



I only heard the word for the first time a few weeks ago, when a friend said he'd invested in an UBER car. I didn't pay a whole lot of attention.

Then last week, my friend Jane who was visiting from L.A. sent an email, saying, "I'll see you at your place--I'll come by taxi or UBER."

She explained a bit when she arrived, but it really hit me when it was time for her to go back to her hotel and it started raining gatos y perros.

"You'll never get a cab now," I told her.

"Never fear. I've got UBER," she said as she pulled out her IPhone. Within a matter of seconds she had a taxi on the way, with the driver's name, license plate, phone number, and make of car, and was tracking his route from Polanco, with minute by minute updates as to how long it would take him to arrive at my house, and what route he was taking. A minute before he was to arrive, we headed downstairs, and there was Alfonso pulling up in a gleaming white BMW.

"And when you arrive, you just walk away--no cash changes hands, no tipping allowed," she explained. "You know the amount when you arrange for the car and they charge your credit card.
And if you leave something in the car, they know how to reach you."

Of course Nick, who is fascinated by all things gadget-related, immediately signed up. He was off to Lima the next day, where he UBERed several times. Upon returning to Mexico City, the lines for a taxi were longer than any he'd ever seen at the airport--at least a half hour wait. But with UBER he was in a taxi within 5 minutes heading home---and it cost about 50 pesos LESS than the Taxis Autorizados.

I hear the future calling.

You do need an IPhone to make use of this service, and sign up on their website:

                  https://www.uber.com  

Monday, August 18, 2014

SEEN IN COLONIA ROMA



This photo was taken by my friend Joan, who is visiting from London. It's a close-up of a sculpture made of zippers. It's part of a large outdoor art show currently on display in the camellón (pedestrian walkway) along Álvaro Obregón in Colonia Roma.