Uber, the app that connects people who need rides with those who want to offer them, is expanding its service effective today in Durham, Chapel Hill and four other North Carolina markets.
The additional markets include Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Fayetteville and Wilmington.
The service recently launched in Raleigh.
“Now 1 in 3 North Carolinians can request a safe, affordable and reliable ride at the touch of a button,” Uber says.
“Whether you’re visiting the Carolina coast or traveling to a business meeting in Research Triangle Park, enjoy the same great Uber convenience across the state.
The expansion of Uber coincides with the increasing availability of transportation and rider apps. (For alternatives and options, check out the weblinks listed with this post.)
Users of the Uber app can request a ride from anywhere and be connected with a vetted, insured driver nearby.
“I was excited to be honest with you because I wanted to get the first one under my belt,” said Joe Wood, a Raleigh Uber driver, said when the service launched in April.
Service levels vary from a professional car service or taxi to “uberX,” which uses a pool of average drivers in a ride-share scenario. Uber requires all drivers to submit to a background check and show proof of insurance.
When a rider requests a ride, the app sends a photo and contact information for the closest car and driver. The fare varies by the time and distance of the trip, and is paid through the app with a credit card connected to the Uber user. No money changes hands.
The app is popular in other cities, such as Boston, where Amy Deveau has used it.
“We are so thrilled,” she said while being picked up from a downtown Raleigh restaurant. “We’re going to use it the entire time we’re down here for the weekend.”
Uber joins like-minded competitor Lyft in the Raleigh market, and riders and drivers could both see the benefit. The two services have been engaged in a cost-cutting war in other cities as they vie for customers. According to the company, Lyft is available in 60 U.S. cities. Uber, meanwhile, is available in 100 cities worldwide.