Tech-savvy consumers that live in metro areas may already be familiar with the app-centric car dispatch service Uber. I got to try this service while I was in Los Angeles for Vator Splash LA. With a single click from your smartphone, a hired car will swoop you up and drop you off at your desired location in serious style. But this convenient service definitely came at a price that often was 20-40% more than your average cab ride. Now Uber is ready to launch a new, price-conscious service for those that want convenience and affordability.
Labelled "Uber X," users can now request more than just the black Lincoln Town cars and SUVs that were already within the service to include Hybrids and other hired cars.
This expansion of the service can make some options more affordable for users and give people a greater choice in their mode of transportation.
While other apps exist to help bring a taxi right to you, such as MyTaxi and GetTaxi, Uber has specialized in helping users receive a more personalized and higher-end experience.
The pricing for Uber X rides will include a $5 base fee, with a $3.25 per-mile charge there afterward. This is roughly 35% cheaper than Uber’s current black car rates and will open the service.
The San Francisco-based startup will launch this extended service on our most patriot holiday, Independence Day.
Uber, which has raised $43 million from investors since 2011, has a presence in major metro cities globally (from Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco to the London and Paris.)
Uber has been able to expand so rapidly through these metro areas because it is a dispatch service that vets personal drivers rather than buying cars and hiring drivers individually. This helps services and drivers that otherwise might have a challenging time filling up there hours -- they are able to pick up a rider here or there in-between their other scheduled trips.
And when I had a chance to speak with the Uber drivers I met, both were very happy to have this option available to them since it gave them a much wider clientele than the celebrities and company executives they were familiar with. Now anyone with a smartphone that wants a quick and reliable ride can get a hired car in minutes. My first Uber request for a car in Santa Monica took only 45 seconds to respond and arrive in front of the hotel I was at -- that is second to none.
In San Francisco, 400 drivers are signed up with Uber, and continues to swell -- and as a San Franciscan, I can attest that haling a cab at peak hours can be like fighting for a dress at a bridal sale so I am happy to hear of this expansion.