The transportation sensation Uber is now in the Statesboro Market.
Uber dispatches low-cost taxis operated by independent drivers, which transforms your smartphone into a private driver dispatcher. Since the company was founded five years ago, they have become one of the fastest-growing companies in start-up history. Uber operates in 60 countries and more than 330 cities worldwide and they have more than 1 million active drivers. Uber is the first company since Google that provides a service so popular that its name has become both a noun and a verb.
"Georgia Southern University makes Statesboro an attractive market for Uber," said Michael Black, Uber General Manager for South Carolina. "After entering the Savannah and Hilton Head Island markets in May, the core population of Statesboro made it a natural expansion. We have been well received in both of those markets and expect the same in Statesboro. It is exciting to see how quickly people have incorporated Uber into their daily lives."
The company's goal is to provide safe and reliable transportation within 10 minutes of receiving a call to take you anywhere you want to go. You can install the Uber app on your smartphone and provide the app with your information, which includes your email, cell phone and credit card.
The fact that this is a cashless system, makes it even more safe. When you are ready for a ride you call a car by pushing a button on the app. You can see how many cars are available in your area and how long the wait will be. You can even get an estimate on the fare to your destination.
When you request a car, you will get a picture of the driver, their car and their license plate number. The drivers are locals who are making extra money by giving people a ride in their own vehicle. Once the ride is complete it will charge your credit card, you can rate the driver and the driver will rate you. This adds another level of quality and extra safety checks for the drivers and riders.
Uber is actively recruiting drivers in the Statesboro area. To apply, go to their website at www.uber.com and sign up. Once you provide your driver's license information and SSN, you will undergo a multi-jurisdictional federal and state background check.
After the initial screening is cleared, you will be required to provide the registration for your vehicle and proof of insurance. Your vehicle must be no older than 10 model years, which is 2005 or newer, right now.
When approved, you decide how much you want to work. When you are ready to drive, you simply activate yourself using the app. Each week your fares are calculated and deposited into your account which works out to be around 80 percent of the fare. I has become a great source of supplemental income and Uber drivers love the flexibility.
Over the past few weeks I have experimented with the app. Early morning availability is a little spotty but lunch or later has been fine. Game day on Saturday was a bit of a challenge with longer waits, but it still worked fine. The students have embraced it naturally, but I see this opening up a lot of opportunities for some of our older citizens, too. In fact, Uber is experimenting with "Uber Assist" in some markets where there are drivers willing to help elderly riders to the car from the home and back.
With several cab companies operating in the Boro, this will compliment that service to help provide safe, affordable transportation options to all of us.