ST. GEORGE — Making southern Utah more accessible is the goal of the latest transportation service to launch in Washington County. Uber officially introduced its UberX service Friday.
“We are excited to be a part of the St. George community and to offer another option for people from Southern Utah and beyond to connect with a safe, reliable, convenient ride at the touch of a button,” Uber General Manager Eric Schroeder said.
St. George Mayor Jon Pike became “Rider Zero,” officially taking the first Uber ride on Thursday.
“The announcement of Uber’s arrival in St. George fits perfectly with our community’s 2016 theme of ‘More Happening Ahead,’” Pike said. “Uber’s innovative approach to transportation will serve our residents and visitors well for years to come. We are thrilled to be considered an Uber City.”
Anyone can use Uber, Pike said, referring to the ease of using the smartphone app associated with the service.
“I think it’s going to be very convenient,” the mayor said. “(It’s) another good option to just get from point A to point B.”
In addition to St. George, Uber operates in 478 cities worldwide, according to the company website.
The service connects riders and drivers through a smartphone app. Prices for the service are competitive with conventional taxi services, according to a press release. For instance, a ride from downtown St. George to the airport will be around $35.00, Uber Communications Director Taylor Patterson said.
The breakdown of fees is as follows:
- $2.00 base fare
- 18 cents per minute
- $5 minimum
Uber is accepting applications for drivers. Prospective drivers must undergo a background and Department of Motor Vehicles check and their car must meet certain qualifications. There is no minimum time that a driver must be available.
“In terms of licensing, they’ve been meeting with our legal people and it appears at this point everything is in order,” Pike said. “We’re happy with the way they have things structured, so it should all be set.”
St. George News reporter Mori Kessler contributed to this article
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