Uber Service Launches

Updated: Thursday, August 21 2014, 11:25 PM EDT
Uber Service Launches story image
Getting around Asheville may be easier beginning Thursday. A
ride-sharing app called Uber has just launched its first rides in town
Thursday afternoon. The premise of Uber is similar to a taxi service,
but drivers use their personal vehicles and are paid through the app
itself.

"I'm out riding around as a realtor all day, everyday, so
when I'm not busy with my real estate this is a good way to earn some
extra cash," says Robert Price. Robert says he had heard about the app
from friends in bigger cities. He had to pass a background check, submit
a copy of his driver's license, proof of insurance and a head shot in
order to get the job.

"It'd be really great for events that
people want to go, when they want to enjoy an adult beverage and they
don't want to drive and don't want to put their license at risk," says
Robert.

Now, he's getting paid $12 an hour to shuttle strangers
around town. But drivers like him are making some serious competition
for people in the taxi industry.

Uber prices claim to be 22-percent cheaper than their competition.
Chris Hanschmidt says he's heard the concerns of other cab drivers.

"They
feel that this is just taking money out of their pockets, and you know,
I certainly understand that viewpoint," says Hanschmidt.

He says the growing market for driver services may be a good thing for customers, and even drivers like himself.

"I
think competition is good from the standpoint that it provides the
customer a better experience. I mean, if everyone is competing for the
business, then everyone has to put their best foot forward, right?"

The
cost of the Uber ride from the News13 station to the Asheville Airport
was $4. The cost of the taxi ride from the airport back to the station
was $18.25.

Uber has been under fire in some states, including
Virginia where a cease and desist order was just lifted earlier this
month. Virginia state officials say they're working toward a way to ease
up on the financial impact for cab drivers.

By: Hope Hanselman.
Follow Hope on Twitter @HopeNews13Uber Service Launches
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