How to use Uber, the ride sharing App

Written By: Jim Schrempp.  Last Updated: Aug 11 2019 - 9:30am.

how to use uber app

We think ride sharing App's like Uber are a great new resource that can help older adults get around more easily. This article (with videos) will describe how to get a ride using the Uber smart phone application, after first downloading the App and setting it up.

You can see a comparison of several of these ride sharing Apps here, but our reviewers decided they liked Uber best, so we did this "How To" series of videos.

We have also discussed these Apps quite a bit in our Longevity Explorer circles. While many of our Explorers like Uber, a sizable minority prefer an App that summons a taxi instead of a private car, and those Explorers are using an App called Flywheel for that.

In this article we provide a series of very short videos that will demonstrate each step in the process of setting up and then using the Uber App. You can watch the videos as you read the article and come back to view them again any time you have a question about Uber.

Just do it: Uber

If you already have the Uber app on your smart phone, this first video will give you a quick, “let’s just do it” overview of using Uber. Start here if you are a savvy smartphone user and just want to know: What is Uber?, or How does Uber work?



Uber Step by Step

 Download and setup

To use Uber you first download their free app to your smart phone and sign up for a free account.

Apple iPhone, iPad:  Click to get Uber on your Apple device

Android phones and tablets:  Click to get Uber on your Android device



Choose the type of ride

When you want a ride you open the app and select the type of ride you want.

 Uber offers several kinds of service in their app:

  • UberX: basic ride service for 1-4 people
  • UberXL: basic ride service for up to 6 people
  • Black Car: limousine style ride – a bit more formal
  • Access: drivers trained to assist riders with mobility issues

UberX is the least expensive service and works great. The other Uber services will cost you more and will probably take longer for the driver to arrive. The basic UberX ride service is available in the most areas, so if you live away from an urban core, the UberX service may be your only viable choice.



Choose a pickup location

Once you have selected the type of ride you want (the cheapest option is UberX) then you have to tell Uber where you want to be picked up. The app uses GPS to know where you are, but you need to make sure the location is accurate.



Get a fare estimate

A common question we get asked is: "How much is an Uber ride?". Uber will give you an estimate of the cost of your ride, if you want. The actual price will depend on traffic conditions – the same way a taxi meter works.



Set your destination

Once you have used Uber a few times you might want to skip the fare estimate part and just specify your destination. There are a couple of different ways you can do this. You can type in where you want to go, or you can use the interactive map.



Summon the Ride

If you tap the final step to arrange the ride, then in a few seconds a driver is selected by Uber and headed to pick you up. The app displays a small photo of the driver and the car – you can see who and what is coming to pick you up. The app also displays a map showing where the driver is and you can watch him approach your location.


On the Move

When your ride arrives you can look at the app to verify that this is the right car for you. Uber drivers should have the Uber logo displayed in their front window. Now open the back seat door and get in. Sit back and enjoy the ride. Your driver will probably be using his own smart phone with GPS driving directions to get you to your destination.


When the Ride is Over

At the end of the ride you step out and the application automatically charges the ride to your credit card. Today Uber rides typically cost about 15% less than a traditional taxi ride. It’s all easy and simple to understand. The hardest part is remembering to not reach for your wallet at the end of your ride.

One last, important, step is that the app will ask you to rate your ride with 1 to 5 stars. Anything less than 5 stars will cause some concern at the company, and if you rate the ride 3 or less then the company will talk to your driver about what happened. Drivers who get too many 3 star ratings are banned by the company. 5 stars does not mean “exceptional,” it means “everything went as expected.” Unless the ride really was bad, then you should rate your ride with 5 stars.



The bottom line: Uber is a very good service that will quickly respond to your need for a ride. We recommend that you download the app and go somewhere soon. Why not take a ride today?

Apple iPhone, iPad

Android phones and tablets


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We hope you found this work useful. If you like what we do, and would like to see it continue, please consider contributing time, ideas, or some funding to help support our work.

We are currently raising contributions from those who find our work valuable to complete some new research initiatives, all targeted at helping older adults live better for longer. And we are always looking for contributions of ideas about what to work on, or help executing some of our projects.

Learn More: Help Support our Research.


Discuss, Comment, Ask Questions



from LD (unverified) at Dec 31 2018 - 8:24am

And . . . tipping? Is this done at the end of the ride, out of the car, when paying the fare?


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