My visit with my former student from South Africa was memorable but all too brief. We had a wonderful time exploring Portland and, as the saying goes, “by my student I was taught.”
Kitty is a travel agent in Cape Town, used to finding her way in foreign places. So, when I proposed a walk longer than I imagined, she got us home by punching up Uber on her smart phone. Four minutes later, we were speeding toward my retirement center in a luxurious, 4 door sedan.
Paying for the ride took a swipe of her card. No cash, no tips, no fuss. Speed and ease. I can understand why taxi companies are nervous.
We used Uber twice more during her stay, each experience as easy and reliable as the first. Frankly, I began to regret not owning a smart phone. Imagine my delight when I came across the Bloomberg Businessweek article, “Uber Without the Smartphone,” (July 17,2017, pg. 22-24.) Apparently, Uber and its competitor, Lyft, are developing expanded services for seniors. The plan requires neither computers nor smart phones. And, both companies are experimenting with wheelchair assistance services.
Cheaper than a taxi and more direct than city transport, Uber and Lyft have their eyes set on the 96% of seniors who have yet to try them. (Ibid pg. 23.)
These programs are in their infancies, but I’m already convinced. When the senior service reaches my neck of the woods, I’m ready. Goodbye car insurance.