Officials in Birmingham are hoping the ride-sharing company Uber - and others like it - could help reduce the number of DUI arrests, crashes and related injuries and deaths in the city.
For those who have not been to a city where Uber is currently operating, a brief description of how the service works might be helpful. People can download an app the Uber company has created for their smartphones. Once you have an Uber account, you can add one or more credit cards into the system, so it is ready to use when needed.
When a person wants a ride home or to any other location, they can load the app and request a ride. The person usually has a choice of whether they want a traditional “black car” luxury sedan, like ones generally taken to the airport, a taxicab, or an UberX, which is late model privately-owned vehicle being driven by a person who has signed on to drive with Uber. Basically, when you request a ride, all nearby drivers have an opportunity to agree to pick you up and take you to your destination. The company handles all payments, including a tip, and you do not have to have any money in your pocket to pay the driver.
Additionally, every rider gets an opportunity to rate all drivers, and their vehicles must be new and clean. The price of the Uber ride is dependent upon traffic, how many people are using the system at one time and the type of vehicle a person requests. For example, a luxury SUV will cost more than an economy sedan.
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