WASHINGTON, D.C. – Have you ever been stuck on the side of a busy street waving down a cab? Now, in some cities you can request that a cab to come to you.
“This is the coolest thing to happen to transportation in over a hundred years,” said one Uber user.
“I use it all the time,” said another.
Using smartphone technology, riders can track their Uber vehicle on a map as it approaches their desired location.
The app also shows you a picture of your driver, what their name is and what kind of car they’re driving.
After the trip is over, the service automatically compensates the driver from the customer’s preloaded credit card. The app even gives you the option to rate your Uber experience on a 5-star scale.
Seems pretty convenient, right?
Well, here’s where it gets tricky.
Once you open the Uber app, you have a few options:
We reached out to Uber to find out what the difference is. They didn’t want to appear on camera, but instead responded by email:
“UberBLACK and UberSUV drivers are professional chauffeurs with a commercial license and commercial auto insurance. UberTAXI drivers are current taxi drivers certified and licensed by the city with a commercial taxi vehicle. UberX, drivers need a personal license and personal auto insurance.”
So, the question is, who’s liable if you’re in an accident when using UberX?
Dave Sutton, a spokesman for the driving awareness campaign known as “Who’s Driving You?” says this is precisely why UberX needs tighter regulations.
“They [Uber] don’t possess the right type of insurance to do business,” Sutton said. “These Uber drivers are a danger to have on the roads.”
Even before the service is available, thousands of people in New Orleans and Baton Rouge have already downloaded and opened the app looking for rides, according to Uber.
Last month in Baton Rouge, the Metro Council voted to allow ridesharing companies like Uber to do business in the city, while New Orleans is still debating allowing the service.