Over 100,000 people visited Spokane, WA last weekend.  Three major conferences were held and all of the hotels were booked.  Taxis were constantly occupied and the journey to find parking led many to the end of their patience and wits.
My stay in Spokane, however, was easy-breezy and I didn’t have to get behind the wheel once.

Thanks to Uber.

Uber is a technology company that provides a platform, allowing local citizens to provide taxi service to visitors.  The Uber mobile application is filled with sensible features that make it easy to use.  10 minutes before I wanted to leave either the hotel or the convention, I opened the app, requested pickup and Uber notified a local “Uber” driver.  Since I was ready to leave, I checked the app and was able to see where the car was currently and estimated time of arrival.  Within minutes, my car service was waiting for me.

While thousands of people walked out of the colosseum, through parking lots, opened their cars, got out of the parking lot and onto the road, I was dropping off my tie and headed back out to visit.

Each day, I met new and interesting people who had great stories to tell.  Some of the best stories of the weekend, were told on the way to the events with my

While I am accustomed to the standard car service protocol of entering through a rear door to take a seat in the back of the car, all 5 of my drivers invited me to sit in the passenger seat for our drive.  I was surprised by the first invitation, so I accepted and had a great conversation.  Though the increased familiarity felt a little awkward to me, I definitely enjoyed the ride.  However, I was sure to decline the following invitations and retired to the back seat.

Each of these drivers had their own story, one was driving his car full-time as an Uber Driver and covering all of his major bills.  Another was simply doing it as a hobby to meet interesting people.

If you are in need of quick pickup and don’t want the look for the # of a cab service, simply download Uber and click Pick-up Requested.  I entered my business credit card info once and every ride is paid for and recorded by Uber for my convenience and tax records.  The drivers make the majority of the fare, 20% goes to Uber and 80% goes to the driver!!  So a cash tip is rarely necessary.

Sunday afternoon rolled around and I thought I would once again, leave my car at the hotel and call a car for the commute.  However, this last time, the driver passed me twice on the sidewalk and made me walk back through a parking lot to find him.  He was definitely confused about how the GPS in his car works.  I gave him some money for his effort and relieved him of his duty.  I hopped in my car, caught every green light on the way, and found an open parking spot immediately.  So, regardless of how convenient a car service is, it will never beat the joy of freedom.

I was so impressed by my experience with Uber; I sent a private message to over 300,000 of the top business executives around the world.  Since Uber is gaining momentum in almost all of our Major Cities, I’m confident you too will appreciate the ease and affordability of the modern man’s car service.  I’m hoping that next year I can use Uber to find a pilot flying from Seattle to Spokane and catch a ride with them!