Smart phone app ‘Uber’ looks to add transportation option in Bir - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Smart phone app ‘Uber’ looks to add transportation option in Birmingham

Posted: Updated:
Birmingham may soon have a new transportation option. Uber, a technology company, has a smart phone application to connect drivers to riders.

The company is posting jobs for drivers in Birmingham for a service called UberX.

Many Uber services use commercial vehicles similar to taxi cabs.

UberX is a little different. People can sign up to be drivers and use their personal cars to drive riders around town.

"We're providing more consumer choice,” said Taylor Bennett, a spokesperson for Uber. “We're providing rides at cheaper cost. And so riders and consumers are benefiting as well as the economic opportunity for drivers."

UberX is touted for being much cheaper than taxis in other cities. Drivers use their own cars to pick up passengers, who pay through the app with a credit card.

Then, Uber pays drivers 80 percent of the fare and keeps the other 20 percent.

"That covers operational costs,” explained Bennett. “It covers the marketing. Primarily, the biggest chunk of that in terms of value is the lead generation. Driver partners use the platform. We connect them with riders."

“I don't have a problem with the concept,” said Birmingham city Councilwoman Kim Rafferty. “I have a problem with the driver and the vehicles being safe and secure for the general public."

Rafferty is Chair of the Transportation and Communications Committee. She says the company began advertising before checking with the city to see what the regulations are.

"(There’s) a permitting process for the drivers and there's a permitting process for the cars. And that includes inspections. That includes having a certain amount of insurance, a clean driving record, those kinds of things."

Uber says it has a corporate insurance policy for its drivers while they use the app. It also says it does its own background checks on drivers dating back seven years.

Rafferty still has concerns, “They're not a licensing entity. They're a business. And so as we have a regulated industry for paid transportation. We have the state regulations. We have the local regulations. You have to be compliant with us."

Rafferty says the city is rewriting its code to try to work with Uber, should the company want to offer local services using commercial vehicles.

But for drivers looking at current ads for UberX, she warns, "Right now, the most definitive thing we're putting in is if we catch you operating a web based transportation service out of your vehicle in the city of Birmingham, your vehicle will be towed."

UberX is up and running in cities like Atlanta, Charlotte and Memphis.

As for the taxi company’s perspective, Ellis Houston, president of Yellow Cab, is adamantly opposed to the idea of UberX coming.

He doesn't think it's safe ad he also believes it's nothing new, pointing out that his company already has a smart phone app.

  • Central Alabama NewsMore>>

  • Gov. Bentley appoints longtime fiscal expert as Alabama's new state budget officer

    Gov. Bentley appoints longtime fiscal expert as Alabama's new state budget officer

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:27 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:27:51 GMT
    Longtime state fiscal expert Kelly Butler is Alabama's new state budget officer. Gov. Robert Bentley announced Butler's appointment on Tuesday.More >>
    Longtime state fiscal expert Kelly Butler is Alabama's new state budget officer. Gov. Robert Bentley announced Butler's appointment on Tuesday.
    More >>
  • New York City real estate heir charged with urinating on candy at drug store

    New York City real estate heir charged with urinating on candy at drug store

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:21 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:21:22 GMT
    A New York City real estate heir who admitted killing his neighbor in Texas a decade ago is facing a new charge in Houston — that he urinated on candy at a drug store.More >>
    A New York City real estate heir who admitted killing his neighbor in Texas a decade ago is facing a new charge in Houston — that he urinated on candy at a drug store.
    More >>
  • Man wanted in connection with 3 homicides captured in Troy

    Man wanted in connection with 3 homicides captured in Troy

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 12:39 PM EDT2014-07-22 16:39:53 GMT
    Florida Panhandle authorities say a man wanted in connection with three homicides has been captured in Alabama.More >>
    Florida Panhandle authorities say a man wanted in connection with three homicides has been captured in Alabama.
    More >>
  • Birmingham Area NewsMore>>

  • Birmingham Mayor, Leaders applaud DNC site visit

    Birmingham Mayor, Leaders applaud DNC site visit

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 12:46 PM EDT2014-07-22 16:46:42 GMT
    Birmingham Mayor William Bell said Tuesday the site visit by the Democratic National Committee has been a success so far. A DNC team is on a two-day site visit evaluating Birmingham's capability of hostingMore >>
    Birmingham Mayor William Bell said Tuesday the site visit by the Democratic National Committee has been a success so far.More >>
  • SCLC National Convention schedule

    SCLC National Convention schedule

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:00 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:00:19 GMT
    The SCLC National Convention scheduleMore >>
    The SCLC National Convention scheduleMore >>
  • DNC's first day on Birmingham site visit

    DNC's first day on Birmingham site visit

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 8:26 AM EDT2014-07-22 12:26:14 GMT
    It's been a full day of sightseeing for a team with the Democratic National Committee.A 12-member group is touring a variety of Birmingham hotels, attractions and venues Monday as part of a two-day site visit.Birmingham is one of five cities vying to hose the Democratic National Convention in 2016. The committee is in the Magic City to see if it has the hotel and venue space to pull off the large-scale event.ABC 33/40 went alongside the team for part of its day. Members saw the Birmingham Mus...More >>
    It's been a full day of sightseeing for a team with the Democratic National Committee.A 12-member group is touring a variety of Birmingham hotels, attractions and venues Monday as part of a two-day site visit.Birmingham is one of five cities vying to hose the Democratic National Convention in 2016. The committee is in the Magic City to see if it has the hotel and venue space to pull off the large-scale event.ABC 33/40 went alongside the team for part of its day. Members saw the Birmingham Mus...More >>
  • Anniston - Gadsden Area NewsMore>>

  • Body pulled from Weiss Lake identified as missing woman

    Body pulled from Weiss Lake identified as missing woman

    Monday, July 21 2014 6:00 PM EDT2014-07-21 22:00:41 GMT
    DeKalb County sheriff's officials say a body that was pulled from Weiss Lake in Leesburg has been identified as a 20-year-old woman who was recently reported missing. Sheriff Jimmy Harris says the body of Sarah Jane Ortiz of Valley Head was found in the lake by a fisherman on Friday. Harris says the woman's body was positively identified on Monday at a forensics lab in Huntsville. Harris says Ortiz was reported missing July 16 by friends and relatives after she failed to return home on July 1...More >>
    DeKalb County sheriff's officials say a body that was pulled from Weiss Lake in Leesburg has been identified as a 20-year-old woman who was recently reported missing. Sheriff Jimmy Harris says the body of Sarah Jane Ortiz of Valley Head was found in the lake by a fisherman on Friday. Harris says the woman's body was positively identified on Monday at a forensics lab in Huntsville. Harris says Ortiz was reported missing July 16 by friends and relatives after she failed to return home on July 1...More >>
  • JSU President announces retirement

    JSU President announces retirement

    Monday, July 21 2014 3:17 PM EDT2014-07-21 19:17:37 GMT
    The longtime president of Jacksonville State University says he will retire next year. Bill Meehan told trustees that he's stepping down as of June 2015. The school announced his decision on its Facebook page. The delay in Meehan's departure provides a chance for board members to name a successor. Meehan has been president since July 1, 1999. Meehan is a Jacksonville State alumnus who started working at the school as a biology instructor. He held other positions at the northeast Alabama campu...More >>
    The longtime president of Jacksonville State University says he will retire next year. Bill Meehan told trustees that he's stepping down as of June 2015. The school announced his decision on its Facebook page. The delay in Meehan's departure provides a chance for board members to name a successor. Meehan has been president since July 1, 1999. Meehan is a Jacksonville State alumnus who started working at the school as a biology instructor. He held other positions at the northeast Alabama campu...More >>
  • Southside woman arrested for Chemical Endangerment of a Child

    Southside woman arrested for Chemical Endangerment of a Child

    Monday, July 21 2014 2:50 PM EDT2014-07-21 18:50:43 GMT
    An Etowah County woman has been arrested for chemical endangerment of a child, according to Sheriff Todd Entrekin.Investigator Haydyn Hedgspeth states, “Christina Goodson Amberson, 36, of Southside, was charged on July 16 with one count of chemical endangerment of exposing a child to an environment in which controlled substances are ingested, produced or distributed, which is a felony.”Amberson admitted to using methamphetamine. She is approximately 5 months pregnant.“It is simply unacceptabl...More >>
    An Etowah County woman has been arrested for chemical endangerment of a child, according to Sheriff Todd Entrekin.Investigator Haydyn Hedgspeth states, “Christina Goodson Amberson, 36, of Southside, was charged on July 16 with one count of chemical endangerment of exposing a child to an environment in which controlled substances are ingested, produced or distributed, which is a felony.”Amberson admitted to using methamphetamine. She is approximately 5 months pregnant.“It is simply unacceptabl...More >>
  • Tuscaloosa Area NewsMore>>

  • Warrants issued to arrest Forkland mayor

    Warrants issued to arrest Forkland mayor

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 8:24 AM EDT2014-07-22 12:24:52 GMT

    Warrants allege: Theft of Property & Tampering Govt Records

    More >>

    Warrants allege: Theft of Property & Tampering Govt Records

    More >>
  • Tuscaloosa police on the look out for a murder suspect

    Tuscaloosa police on the look out for a murder suspect

    Sunday, July 20 2014 2:21 PM EDT2014-07-20 18:21:54 GMT
    At approximately1:40 am this morning Tuscaloosa Police responded to a reported shooting in the 4700 block of East McFarland Blvd (Motel 6). When officers arrived, they found the victim, 21 year old Jamarcus Marquez Roberts in his vehicle. Roberts had crashed into the shrubs at the entrance to the motel parking lot. Roberts was treated at the scene and transported to DCH-ED, however he died from his injuries. The victim appears to have been shot one time in the chest. Investigators were able t...More >>
    At approximately1:40 am this morning Tuscaloosa Police responded to a reported shooting in the 4700 block of East McFarland Blvd (Motel 6). When officers arrived, they found the victim, 21 year old Jamarcus Marquez Roberts in his vehicle. Roberts had crashed into the shrubs at the entrance to the motel parking lot. Roberts was treated at the scene and transported to DCH-ED, however he died from his injuries. The victim appears to have been shot one time in the chest. Investigators were able t...More >>
  • Tuscaloosa Police investigating a murder on East McFarland Blvd.

    Tuscaloosa Police investigating a murder on East McFarland Blvd.

    Sunday, July 20 2014 2:09 PM EDT2014-07-20 18:09:31 GMT
    Tuscaloosa Police are investigating a murder on East McFarland Blvd. at the Motel 6.  More >>
    Tuscaloosa Police are investigating a murder on East McFarland Blvd. at the Motel 6.  More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...