5 Questions about Uber

File illustration picture showing the logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone next to the picture of an official German taxi sign in Frankfurt, September 15, 2014. A Frankfurt court earlier this month instituted a temporary injunction against Uber from offering car-sharing services across Germany. San Francisco-based Uber, which allows users to summon taxi-like services on their smartphones, offers two main services, Uber, its classic low-cost, limousine pick-up service, and Uberpop, a newer ride-sharing service, which connects private drivers to passengers - an established practice in Germany that nonetheless operates in a legal grey area of rules governing commercial transportation. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/Files (GERMANY - Tags: BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT CRIME LAW TRANSPORT)

Uber is in the news quite a bit lately. More people are discovering the “taxi” app every single day, and many are jumping in with both feet to earn a few bucks with their automobiles. There was even an ugly Uber incident the other night on The Late Show with new host Stephen Colbert.

It seems some taxi cab drivers weren’t too happy about the creative destruction of their livelihood. I’m sure wagon manufacturers didn’t like the advent of cars either, but we have to move forward.

If you are wondering about Uber and whether it would be a great way for you to make some extra money, then I’m here to help. Here are five questions you should ask before downloading the Uber app and picking up perfect strangers on the streets.

I don’t have all the answers, but hopefully the questions will help you make a better decision.

5. Should you care about the taxi drivers who will miss out on work because of Uber and similar technology companies? This is easy for me. I don’t care, not because I am cold hearted. It’s because it matters not. Technology is evolving to make some service businesses obsolete. Reality cannot be changed because some people have to change jobs if they want to continue earning a living.

4. Is it safe to drive strangers around town? That’s a big question. Taxi drivers have had one of the most dangerous jobs historically. Uber has ratings for their passengers, but what about a new user?

3. How can I stand out from other Uber drivers? Sure you can pick folks up and take their payments, but how can you make more off of each passenger? Sell snacks? How about phone chargers?

2. Is it possible for me to make more money at my regular job so I don’t have to drive for Uber? Is a raise possible? If so then why do extra work as a cabbie? Make yourself valuable to your current employer so you can get more money without increasing your hours.

1. Is it really a good idea to use your own car to run a taxi service? Of course this is a good plan if you are in need of extra money, but would you do it if you did not need more income?

That is a big issue with our evolving freelance economy. Many websites and apps will provide a way to earn more money, but individuals need to think about the reasons they are having to do all this extra work just to make ends meet.

Maybe if we didn’t have $100 cable bills and two car payments we would not even think of running a taxi service in addition to working 44 hours a week at the office.

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