South Bend, Ind. Starting Thursday there will be a new way to get around South Bend – Uber.
The ridesharing service is coming to 22 more cities across the country, meaning they now serve more than 100 cities nationwide, including big cities like Chicago and Indianapolis.
To celebrate, new and existing Uber users in South Bend will get their first five rides for free through September 1st.
“We couldn't be more excited that Uber users in South Bend will now be able to request an affordable ride with the push of a button,” a spokesperson said.
The rates for an Uber ride are as follows: $1.90/base, $1.25/mile + $.25/minute. You can fare split the cost with other riders.
We gave Uber a try here at the WNDU station parking lot.
Uber started picking up drivers in South Bend around 1 p.m.
There was some type of miscommunication. The first driver didn’t show up. The second driver arrived at the station an hour and a half late.
You can't tell what Uber is because it's a driver with their own personal vehicle picking you up. All you have to do is download the app and with a few simple clicks you can arrange a pick-up.
The company says their rates are about 20 percent lower than cab fares in South Bend.
Pooneet Kant from Uber says, "What we see is there have been thousands of people in the South Bend area who have been opening the Uber app to see if Uber is available there. And we see that type of consumer demand, that's something we respond to and to open up service."
However cab drivers say there isn't enough of a market for Uber to survive here.
Henry Oladani from Empire Cab says, “The real issue is there is not enough turnover in this city to although for Uber to function properly and succeed.”
The airport announced today that Uber is not allowed to pick-up travelers there.
Cab drivers also pointed out they have to pay several fees and taxes that Uber doesn't.
For example just to stay parked outside of the airport, cab drivers are part of a contract that costs them money along with taxes with city.
To learn more about Uber, click on this link.
Uber not permitted to pick-up passengers at South Bend International Airport
In the wake of the announcement that the ride-sharing company Uber is moving into Michiana, officials at South Bend International Airport (SBN) want to inform travelers that Uber is not permitted to pick-up passengers from SBN per Ordinance 2014-01 which states, “No person, firm, corporation, or livery service shall utilize any vehicle to transport for hire any person from the facilities of the Airport unless such person, firm, corporation, or livery service has in effect a contract or lease agreement directly with the (St. Joseph County Airport Authority) Board granting the person, firm, corporation, or livery service the specific right to perform such activity. By signing said Agreement such person, firm, corporation, or livery service agrees to abide by all Rules and Regulations of the Board.”
“Our ordinance and rules and regulations are in place for the safety of the traveling public,” said SBN Executive Director Mike Daigle. “This is why the approved vehicles for hire option at SBN is taxi cabs at this time.”