WICHITA, Kan., April 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Starting at 2 p.m., uberX will be available in four new Kansas cities: Lawrence, Leavenworth, Manhattan and Topeka. Following Governor Sam Brownback's veto of SB 117 - a bill that would have stifled the ridesharing industry in Kansas - Uber is expanding its operations throughout the state and bringing affordable transportation choices and new economic opportunities immediately to hundreds, and potentially thousands, of drivers throughout Kansas.
Uber is a smartphone application that connects drivers and riders in more than 300 cities across the world. UberX is the app's ridesharing option that connects people who need a ride with a driver who uses his or her own car and has passed local, state and federal background checks.
Today's launch provides 50 percent of Kansas' population access to an uberX at the touch of a button.
"We are excited about our entrance into these four cities and the hundreds of jobs that were created today," said Uber Kansas General Manager Will McCollum. "These launches would not have been possible without the action taken by Governor Brownback and his willingness to support and grow new industries, such as ridesharing, in Kansas. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with legislators and every Kansas stakeholder who is interested in helping craft a smart regulatory framework for this new transportation option."
The announcement comes three days after Governor Brownback vetoed SB 117, citing in his veto message the importance of innovation and economic growth to the future of Kansas.
More than 6,600 Kansans signed a petition urging the Governor to veto the bill.
In celebration of Uber's arrival in the four Kansas cities, users can enter the code UberLovesKS in the app to unlock 3 FREE RIDES (up to $20 off each) in Lawrence, Leavenworth, Manhattan, and Topeka from now until Thursday, April 30.
How Uber Works
When a rider requests a ride through the free Uber smartphone app, he or she sees available cars on a map. The nearest driver is alerted of the ride request and is given the rider's pick up location. The rider then receives detailed information about the driver, including his or her first name, photo and Uber rating, and the vehicle's make, model, and license plate number. While both the rider's and driver's phone numbers are anonymized through Uber's technology, they have a direct line of contact to one another if needed.
When the rider reaches his or her destination, they are automatically charged for the ride through a seamless, cashless transaction. The rider immediately receives an electronic receipt via email.
Learn how to use Uber here.
Uber creates a new market for transportation services that leads to significant job creation in all Uber cities. The flexibility of the platform is the most prominent reason why drivers use the Uber app. Drivers choose their own hours and can work as little or often as they like. Worldwide, 50,000 driver jobs are generated by the Uber platform every month.
Uber Kansas has more than 700 active driver partners already using the platform, primarily on a part-time basis with hundreds more able to hit the road today. The app serves as a lead generator for these drivers, who can use the platform to earn a living on a flexible schedule.
Impact on drunk driving
The ubiquity and reliability of Uber can remove the temptation of getting behind the wheel after a night on the town. The seamless, cashless alternative makes it easy for drivers to leave their cars at home, thereby reducing the prevalence of drunk driving.
In a recent study by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), four in five (78%) respondents said friends are less likely to drive home after drinking since ridesharing services like Uber started operating in their city.
A ride for everyone
Uber serves all communities and neighborhoods with ETA-based dispatch rather than traditional location-based dispatch, ensuring that no rider is rejected because of who they are, where they live, or where they want to go.
The Uber app's safety features:
- Transparent Trip Tracking: GPS is utilized for every ride on the platform allowing Uber to account for the time and route of every trip.
- No Ride is Anonymous: Once a ride request is confirmed, users have the picture, name, vehicle type, license plate number and rating of the driver.
- Share My ETA: Users have the ability to "Share My ETA" with friends and family, displaying a live map of the trip in progress.
- A 24/7 Feedback Loop: Riders rate and provide comments about their experience at the end of every trip and drivers do the same. Uber constantly monitors that feedback to ensure any issue is addressed immediately.