This post has been updated.

Looking for a new way to map the socioeconomics of our city? Uber has you covered.

The taxi alternative, where customers schedule pick-ups and pay fares using a smartphone app, expanded to San Diego in 2012. It’s a somewhat carefree option to get around our car-centric city, if you can handle higher costs. The company’s low-cost option, uberX, undercuts San Diego taxi rates – $2.35 base fare and $1.65 per mile compared to $2.80 and about $3 a mile, respectively. Uber also now charges a $1 “safe ride” fee on these rides.

But UberBlack, “the original Uber,” is a step up with a base fare of $8 and $3.35 per mile, and UberSUV comes in at $15 base fare with $4.30 per mile.

As it spreads, Uber is posing considerable competition for the taxi industry, at least in the demographic groups with readily disposable income. Uber just published maps of where people are using the service in each of them. Here’s San Diego’s:

Image courtesy of Uber

Uber trips appear to be localized in downtown, uptown and beach communities. There’s the higher fare, but there’s also the barrier of needing access to the app itself. And where might you imagine the young, moderately wealthy, smartphone-toting San Diegans hang out?

Quartz noted the maps leave dark areas where people don’t or aren’t able to use the service, making them essentially guides to “what the world’s cities would look like without poor or old people.”

Catherine Green

Catherine Green was formerly the deputy editor at Voice of San Diego. She handled daily operations while helping to plan new long-term projects.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.