Taking the Uber Pool

Bryan: How are you? Has it been busy? (getting in back)

Roger: You better get up front, we’ve got two other riders in the pool.

Bryan: No problem. Busy morning, then?

Roger: It has been busy all week because of Safetrack*. Have you been taking Uber Pool long?  *A maintenance initiative by the Washington Metro that involves shutting down or reducing service on various lines for repairs.

Bryan: I usually rideshare in the evenings but I’ve been taking Uber Pool in the mornings because of SafeTrack.  The Pool is only slightly more expensive than metro, its air conditioned, and I can talk to other people on the way there. If you are talking to other people on the metro, it’s usually because something really bad just happened.

Roger:  As long as you aren’t in a hurry, Uber Pool is the way go.  You shouldn’t take it though if you have to be somewhere at a certain time. The other two people in your car might be far apart and traffic could be bad.  If you are going into Washington DC, it is probably going to be bad.  Sometimes people get upset because they don’t understand how Uber Pool works – they get in and tell me that I have to hurry up because they are going to be late or that I need to take a certain route. The application determines which riders I pick up and drop off in which order – it isn’t my decision.

(Picks up other two passengers)

Jennifer: Hi!  Anyone else been taking Uber Pool every morning?

Asiah:  Just since Safetrack.  I didn’t realize how cheap it was.  I’ll probably continue doing this even after Safetrack.

Bryan:  I think that is what Uber and Lyft are counting on – people getting used to sharing rides to and from the city for a reasonable rate. 

Roger:  Look at what my referral card says (reads “WHY-TAKE-METRO?”).  I had that printed up long before Safetrack went into effect.

Asiah: Uber Pool probably takes as much time as metro but it’s more comfortable and I get dropped off right at work.  But this week there isn’t much of a choice.   

Bryan: Imagine shutting down metro like this if we didn’t have Uber or Lyft to fall back on.  That would mean taxis, telecommuting, or biking in for people without cars.

Jennifer:  Hey – no one has asked anyone else what they do for a living. That’s refreshing.  It’s almost always the first thing people in Washington DC ask each other. 

Bryan:  If you weren’t born in DC, you came here for something – a job, a cause, a campaign, to study.  It’s great to be passionate about something but it isn’t good to fixate on work. I sometimes feel like this is a city where we know our colleagues’ work better than we know our colleagues themselves.

Jennifer: Are you using Waze?

Roger:  I always use Waze. Did you know that you can change the voices?

Bryan: I had no idea.

Roger:  (Clicks “Settings”) – Go ahead and pick one

Bryan:  (Selects “Boy Band”) 

WAZE:  At the next stop, turn leeeffftt (male teenager voice)

Jennifer:  Whoah!

WAZE:  Turn leefftt, in one hundred feet, turn riiighht (male teenager voice)

Asiah:  What other voices are there?

Bryan:  Let’s see….French, Spanish, German…..

WAZE: In einer halben meile, biegen sie rechts abt!

Asiah:  What was that?

Bryan:  German.

Roger:  I don’t know German.

Bryan:  I’m trying to pick it up but it isn’t easy. I’ll switch back to English. 

Bryan: So do you have any pet peeves as a driver?

Roger: Yeah, I don’t like it when people are playing Pokemon Go from the car and want me to go to a bunch of different stops so they can catch Pokemon. 

Jennifer:  Anyone been playing Pokemon Go?  (two people have)

Roger: I heard two people got mugged over the weekend and their phones stolen.  They make it too easy because they aren’t paying attention to anything but the game.

Bryan: The Holocaust Museum has been asking people to not play Pokemon Go inside.  You’d hope that people would know not to do that.

Jennifer: Saw that. There are lots of places people shouldn’t be playing it.  People don’t teach their children respect.

Bryan: That’s my stop.  Have a good day everyone!