Let me start by saying that if you don’t know about Uber, you need to check it out: https://www.uber.com/
In short, Uber is a car service. Before two weeks ago, my only experience with them was in New York City. I have their app on my phone, and literally, with the touch of a button, you can request a car to pick you up wherever you are. It tells you how many minutes until the car will arrive. Plus, you receive a description of the car and a picture of the driver. You load a credit card number into the app, which is charged automatically, so no cash is exchanged. It can be much easier than hailing a cab.
I know that they are expanding all over the world, but in my little corner of Switzerland, they weren’t present until the end of January. One of my friends sent a note telling us about their launch in Lausanne. I don’t have much use for taxis here, but it’s always good to know the options. Little did I know that I would need them so soon.
Two weekends ago, I was heading to the airport via train. When I arrived at the station in Vevey, there was a little bit of chaos. A different train was on the platform where mine should’ve been, and the conductor was instructing those going to the airport to move to another platform. The train arrived a few minutes late, which is unusual here. Once we were moving, they announced that the train would be stopping in Lausanne – not going on to the airport. If I thought the short delay was unusual, this was REALLY unusual. I checked the app, and sure enough, no trains were running between Lausanne and the airport. I was flying out with two other friends, and when I called, they were still waiting for a train to Lausanne in their town of Pully. It showed that it was going to be late as well, but the delay kept getting longer and longer. That’s when I remembered Uber! I told them I would see if I could get a car for us.
Within five minutes of arriving in Lausanne, I was in an Uber car. I asked the driver if we could pick up my friends at the train station in Pully before going to the airport, and he agreed. From Lausanne, it’s probably costs 200 CHF or more to take a taxi to the airport. Our Uber ride (complete with detour to Pully) was only 103 CHF! Plus, I got to chat with the driver in French on the way to pick up my friends! Good practice for me!
I’m so happy that Uber is in the neighborhood, and even happier that a friend thought to tell me about it! We arrived at the airport only 15 minutes later than my original train was due to arrive. Uber definitely saved the day!