Special thanks to Uber for extending this event invitation.

Update: This business has ceased its operations.

After debuting in Klang Valley and Johor Bahru, Uber is finally expanding its transportation services to Penang!

Uber started in 2009 in San Francisco as a platform for passengers to connect to drivers directly. Today, there are 300 cities with Uber's presence, making Uber one of the largest transportation network service in the world.

In conjunction of Uber's launching in Penang, I have been invited to an exclusive cocktail party at Thirty Two At The Mansion. However, I am not driving tonight! To get firsthand experience of its services, I am going to ride with Uber tonight!
In Uber's business model, each driver works freelance and owns his/her own vehicle. While several Uber drivers drive full-time, the vast majority of them do so at their own pace. Whether to make a living after retirement or to supplement their income during difficult times, Uber bring much-needed job opportunities to the community.

Not any Tom, Dick and Harry can be Uber's driver. To safeguard Uber's reputation and safety record, every prospective driver must undergo rigorous background check. To qualify, the driver must possess a valid driver's license, has a safe and clean vehicle (usually not exceeding 5 years), has comprehensive vehicle insurance, and has the right personality in the service line.

To start using Uber, simply down the Uber app from Google Play or App Store. At the login screen, confirm your current location for pickup. Alternatively, move the green pin on the map if you want to be picked from a different location. Unlike normal taxis, you can request Uber to pick you from your doorstep!
Once the pickup point has been selected, choose your destination. You may enter the destination address or simply move the red pin on the map. If you do not have the address, you may leave this section blank and inform the driver later. Uber's coverage in Penang is currently limited within Penang Island.
For first-time users, click on the "PROMO CODE" button and enter the code "PGFOODHUNTER". This code gives 2 free trips with Uber, to a maximum of RM30.00 per trip! This promotional code is valid for limited time and applies to new users only.
You can also get a fare estimate beforehand. The actual fare may differ depending on traffic conditions. In a nutshell, Uber's fare is calculated based on distance and time.
RM2.00 + RM0.70/kilometer + RM0.35/minute
The rate is valid for any type of vehicles within the same class (Uber has only one class in Penang today). There is no extra charge for more passengers (up to three), so it makes sense to carpool. Uber's app has a built-in feature to split the fare with other passengers.

Overall, Uber is generally cheaper than local "metered" cabs, which has gained notoriety for haggling, picking destinations and refusing to use taximeters. For convenience and as an added security measure, Uber's fare is directly billed to a credit card. Hence, there is absolutely no cash transaction within the vehicle.

Once the passenger confirms the ride, the software hails the nearest available vehicle to the selected pickup location. The passenger is given complete information about the incoming vehicle including the driver's name, photograph, car model, vehicle registration plate number, driver's rating, current location and estimated time of arrival.
To prevent drivers from being picky, the driver has no knowledge of the passenger's destination until pickup. Drivers are also not allowed to refuse service because they need to meet at least 95% acceptance rate.

My driver this evening is a friendly Mr. Ho, who owns a comfortable Perodua Alza. Mr. Ho has a regular job during the day, but drives for Uber after work to supplement his household income.
Uber uses Waze GPS navigational system to guide the driver through the fastest possible route. As an added security measure, the vehicle's coordinate is logged in real time so that Uber can verify that its drivers are indeed taking the shortest path. In the spirit of transparency and accountability, the passenger can also share his/her real time location with others.
The actual fare is calculated once the vehicle reaches the destination. Notice that my ride this evening is free due to the promotional code! To improve Uber's service quality, the passenger can give anonymous rating of the driver. Uber requires each driver to meet an average rating of 4.5 stars.
Time flies during the trip, and it is not long before we arrived at Thirty Two At The Mansion. This colonial-style English manor faces the sea and is a popular place for bridal photography.
The mansion is currently the premises of a fine dining restaurant. The fact that Uber can reserve the entire restaurant for tonight's cocktail party - gives a sense of how grand Uber wants this launching event to be!
In addition to the restaurant, Thirty Two At The Mansion also features an outdoor eatery called Babylon Beach Blanket.
Uber's cocktail party is located at a large hall right next to Babylon Beach Blanket. Throughout the evening, guests wine and dine with an assortment of finger food and free flow of wine!
A band is hired to lighten the ambience throughout the evening. Uber also invited a stand-up comedian to entertain guests with his satirical humor.
Uber's presence in any city results in reduction in drunk driving. Instead of putting lives at risk, one can easily hail a car at the push of a button. Remember to use the promotional code "PGFOODHUNTER" for the first time so that you get 2 free trips! Given these free trips, there is no reason not to experience the convenience that Uber has to offer!

Name: Uber
Address: N/A
Contact: N/A
Business hours: 24 hours
Website: https://www.uber.com/cities/penang
Coordinates: N/A
Directions: N/A


  1. A few days ago, I planed to the host Perfect Party, one of my friends suggested Uber to me to fix all stuffs. It helps me lot in may ways, my worries cut into half.

    1. Yeah, Uber can arrange to provide transportation services for your guests, often at discounted price. :-)

      This is particularly great if many guests are expected to get drunk afterwards. Better not let them drive. :-)

      This is the form to apply. :-)