Pieter van Niekerk: O’Reilly’s First Uber Experience

On 11 May 2016, O’Reilly was one of the guests of honour at a golf day in aid of S A Guide-Dogs Association for the Blind. I had decided to try out Uber, the new taxi ordering service. With both of us being technologically challenged, it was a rather nerve-wracking experience to order your ride through an app! I finally managed to install the app on my phone, and after experimenting with it, I was pleasantly surprised with how user and blind friendly it is.

With O’Reilly groomed and my shoes polished, the moment of truth arrived on Wednesday, 11 May 2016. Shortly after 16h00, I placed the request and was immediately informed that my driver (including his name, the make and colour of vehicle, and the registration number), would be collecting us in 7 minutes. A very polite and friendly driver arrived at GDA premises, smiling from ear to ear at having to transport a four-footed friend too – this after assuring him that his friend wouldn’t bite him!

For the next hour, we chatted away about the weather, Uber news, etc. – the time sped past. O’Reilly stuck his head up occasionally just to check that we were still on course, and then went back to sleep again.

After a most enjoyable time at the golf day, I was panicking somewhat when I realised my phone’s battery was very low. Nevertheless, I still managed to place the request for a return ride later that evening. To my absolute amazement, the app informed me that I had to wait only 4 minutes, with the same friendly Uber driver with an even bigger smile arriving to fetch us for our journey home.

Well done to Uber and its competent driver – O’Reilly rated his first experience a 5 out of 5, and can’t wait for his next one!


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