What makes a great uber (taxi) experience

For the past year or two the Uber car has become my default mode of transportation. As a result, I’ve been able to identify specific reasons why I prefer some Uber rides over others. In addition to having a clean car (I’m assuming that is obvious), here are five things you that make for a great Uber experience:

  1. Having the passenger seat pulled forward. Since most of your rides will be singles and doubles, whatever you can do to maximize legroom is a must. Business travels pay hundreds of dollars to have a few inches of legroom on a plane—you’ll guarantee a positive start to the experience.
  2. Confidence in your route choice. When we get in your car we are expecting a professional driver. If you’re worried about your riders second guessing where you go, quickly plug their destination into Google Maps or have them enter the address into the app. I don’t need you to explain why you took a left or right at every turn.
  3. Let your passengers drive the conversation. I recognize that you want to be friendly, but don’t try to be the life of the party. Sure, be friendly when the passenger comes in, but most riders want to zone out or mentally prepare for where they’re going. I don’t want to explain why they’re coming or going.
  4. Water or mints. Nothing screams top-notch like having a bottle or water or loose mints handy for the passenger. I don’t typically take it, but it lets me know that the driver cares about the service he or she is offering. Low cost bottles are fine. If your rating is hovering dangerously close to suspension, those few dollars may keep you in business.
  5. An empty trunk. Sure, only a few of the passengers you’ll pick up will have luggage, but a messy trunk is like cleaning your house by throwing everything into the closet.

I recognize this is a two-way street. I’d love to know what professional drivers believe make a great rider experience.