One of the most exciting parts about driving is the uncertainty with each and every ride. You never know what type of passenger you’re going to get and just how far you’re going to go. Today, RSG contributor, Joe Strandell shares with us a story about his longest ride ever.
What’s the longest ride you’ve ever given? For me, it was back in September of 2014.
It was a normal day of driving for Uber in Santa Barbara. I get a call from a hotel, no big deal. I show up and an Indian woman with pink pants and a backpacking backpack gets into my car. I swipe to start the ride and then I realize something crazy.
The destination is in Palo Alto.
I thought it was a mistake. She said, “I can call another Uber if you can’t do it.” I say, “no no, I have the time.” We get on the freeway and I make sure to call someone letting them know where I’m going for the day!
As we start out, I’m super curious why she would want to Uber all the way up to the bay. It turns out that she Ubered down to Santa Barbara county for vacation. “How much was the trip down?” I asked. $480, she said. I did the math and figured I’ll keep $384. That’s not too terrible considering my car gets 27 miles to the gallon.
Knowing that I’d be spending the next 4-5 hours in an intimate space with a complete stranger, I try to watch boundaries and not bother her too much. She decides to sleep through most of the ride anyways.
As we get to the bay, I just have to ask her, “what in the world do you do?” It turns out that she is a volunteer for a tech company in the bay area. She doesn’t go into further detail.
I drop her off at this house downtown, give her my number, and say goodbye. I swipe to end the trip. $658! What?! Santa Barbara rates were apparently 27% more than bay area rates. 5 hours and 320 miles later, it was a good day.
When I drop her off, I do not feel like returning all the way to Santa Barbara for 5 hours.
So, I decide to spend the night in Mountain View that night.
My Airbnb host used to work at Google. I asked him, “what it was like working in Silicon Valley?”
He asked me where I was from. “Nashville,” I said. He replied, “well in the same way that talented people like to collaborate with their music there, people here like to collaborate with technology here. It’s a great environment for it.”
The next morning, I return back to Santa Barbara. But first, I wanted to see something that I had always wanted to see.
I toured the Hearst Castle.
If you haven’t seen the Hearst Castle, it’s definitely worth checking out.
So, I was able to take a little vacation from this Uber ride. Not bad. Now, why would someone want to take an Uber for that price when you can fly for half the price and a quarter of the time? I’m not sure. Maybe for some, the convenience is just a little better.
What is the longest Uber ride you’ve ever taken and how much was it for? Have you ever taken a vacation opportunity from a Uber ride? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below.