Using Uber Saved Her Over 6 Days of Time and $11,000 A Year

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(Business Insider, by Katherine Krug) In 2010 I moved from Los Angeles to San Francisco and thought I had to bring my car with me. LA, as anyone who’s ever heard anyone say anything about LA knows, is a car city. If you’re going anywhere, you’re going in your car.And after living there, I was convinced that this truth wasn’t limited to any one city. Owning a car was necessary wherever you lived.My friends placed bets on how quickly I’d ditch my beloved Volkswagen Jetta for a bicycle, telling me about the bike lanes, the BART, and so on. I patiently listened as I jingled my car keys in my pocket, confused why anyone would ever think I’d let go of such control.

When I arrived in San Francisco, I drove to work every day. Having a car was freedom. It was going wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted. But slowly it started becoming a burden, both mental and financial.That large dent someone anonymously gifted me on my driver’s side door? I can’t turn my leased car in with that. Do I fix it now or later? Those $68 parking tickets that amassed so quickly? But that’s more than the cost of my lease each month! The reasons kept piling up. Skyrocketing gas prices, flat tires, overnight parking, more hit and run gifts, a speeding ticket, smashed windows. That glow of freedom? It was from a bonfire fed by a never-ending stream of my money.

Enter Uber and Lyft. Since giving up my car in October ’13 I haven’t waited more than 5 minutes from the moment I thought about needing a car to buckling my seatbelt. They hydrate me, tell me great stories, or, if I want, give me the space and time to do that last bit of work before a meeting. I don’t look for parking, or worry about gas, or get upset if someone cuts me off on the highway. That’s real freedom.

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Uber Launches In Portland Despite Being Completely Illegal There

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(The Verge)- Uber has a remarkably rich history of upsetting local city transportation officials by setting up shop before laws and regulations have been ironed out. And that’s just what’s happening tonight in Portland, Oregon where Uber apparently surprised everyone by launching its ridesharing service without the approval of the city’s transportation bureau.

If caught, fines for both Uber and its drivers are steep, running $1,500 for the company (for the first offense) and up to $2,250 for the driver, with those fines going up to $5,000 for additional violations. And the city says it’s on the lookout. “They think they can just come in here and flagrantly violate the law?” Portland’s transportation commissioner Steve Novick told The Oregonian. “This is really amazing. Apparently, they believe they’re gods.” An Uber spokeswoman said the company plans to support drivers there “every step of the way.” It’s currently unclear if that means Uber plans to foot the bill for those fines.

Uber’s entrance to the city is complicated due to Portland’s proximity to neighboring cities where Uber is allowed, including right across the bridge to Vancouver, Washington. Drivers in those places can pick people up and take them into Portland within minutes, meaning whatever return trip to those areas requires riding without a paid passenger on the way back.

Read more at The Verge