The days of calling for a ride in Greensboro and Winston-Salem may be behind those who can now rely on Uber.
The technology company launched its UberX service in four new North Carolina cities on Thursday. That includes Durham and Chapel Hill to go along with Charlotte and Raleigh.
“It’s consumer demand,” said Taylor Bennett. “We’ve had an enormous amount of requests from drivers and potential riders here in North Carolina.”
The free app helps users in need of a ride find affiliated drivers who are close by. Uber said those drivers pass a background check and are rated by users. Those ratings can also be used by app users when deciding who to summon for a ride.
Payments are set by Uber and claim to be up to 40 percent cheaper than cabs. The fares are paid online so there’s never an exchange of cash.
Uber gave some examples of prices that include and $8 ride from the BB&T ballpark in Winston-Salem to Trade St. The company said you can also expect to pay about $14 for a ride from Battleground Ave. to the Greensboro Coliseum.
“Absolutely, I expect to use it,” said Che Curtis, who said she uses the services up to twice a week when she’s working in Washington, D.C. “I think it’s great. It’s the best way to travel.”
But those who shuttle people from one place to another are concerned. John Harris is a partial owner of United Yellow Cab. He had no idea that Uber was launching service in Greensboro.
“I’m concerned because you’re taking a section of the riding public away from us,” said Harris.
His cab service has weathered other recent threats like flat-fee ride services as well. Harris says the new competition would be held to the same standards as cab companies.
“They can’t put us out of business. I’m not afraid of that because we’ve been threatened before and we’ve survived and we’ll survive,” said Harris.