In praise of Uber

Dear Editor,

Having read your recent article about Lisbon’s taxi drivers protesting about the Uber taxi service, I feel compelled to write from the perspective of a customer who has recently discovered the service.

I was on a trip to London recently when a friend showed me the app, and I was so impressed that I downloaded it to my smartphone straight away. Quite simply I have never looked back.

I started using the service in London and was so impressed not only by the ease of calling a car, with the Uber street map showing me a live display of their cars in the vicinity, but also the cleanliness, comfort and finally the convenience of no money or tips being allowed to change hands. The cost (usually less than that of a taxi) is simply charged to my credit card.

On returning to Lisbon, it did not occur to me to use Uber as I had read that the service had been banned in Portugal, but a quick look at the app confirmed otherwise.

The service in Lisbon is every bit as good as in London and I have stopped using local taxis altogether. The traditional taxi drivers may succeed in securing the ban in the short term but I have no doubt that Uber, as a global company, will overcome this eventually.

Quite simply they are offering a better service than conventional taxis, with nicer, cleaner cars, friendly drivers and a product designed with the customer in mind.

So it’s time to move on taxi drivers: either come up with something similar yourselves to compete with Uber or, as many taxi drivers have in other countries, move to Uber yourselves.

Francisco Matias