Uber is back across Germany…but be careful, as the drivers are not exactly well-experienced.
I was recently in Germany with my business partner. We landed in Frankfurt and needed to get to Mainz. When I travel alone, I take public transport…it is not as convenient as using a taxi, but easy enough and I can accomplish more on the train than I can in the back seat of a car. Meanwhile, my business partner prefers the quicker taxi trip, arguing that it is “penny wise, pound foolish” to wait for a train, especially if there is a long wait for one or when traveling with bags.
One thing I will say about the cab drivers in Germany is that they are professional, much like (most) of the London cabbies. Put another way, a German taxi driver never takes the wrong turn…at least in my experience.
But I noticed that Uber is back in Frankfurt and about 25% cheaper than the cab (60EUR for the cab via MyTaxi app, 45EUR for the Uber). So we tried that.
The driver was a recent arrival from Afghanistan and we had a very nice chat about living in the Panjshir Valley north of Kabul…he was absolutely flabbergasted that I had been to his home village.
But he wasn’t a good driver. A lot of sharp lane changes at the last-minute and he missed the turnoff to Mainz. That’s not a huge issue on U.S. cities where interstate exits are more frequent, but we had to travel several miles to the next exit before turning around and hitting horrific traffic retracing our steps.
Although we were not charged any extra for the “detour”, it left me ticked off that I lost almost 30 minutes because the guy didn’t know where he was going…penny wise, pound foolish indeed.
Maybe just maybe that was one bad apple, but it is not worth the risk. I’ll stick to S-Bahn when traveling alone and taxi when traveling with my business partner. Uber is not substantially cheaper and German roads are not for the inexperienced.