Uber races into Evansville

Ever since her car broke down, Crystal Phillips has searched for a reliable transportation system to get her to and from work.

Phillips, a freshman public relations major, said she has had difficulty getting an internship or a higher paying job because her modes of transportation are slim.

“I really feel like Uber would be beneficial to someone like me who had their car get pretty much totaled but still needs to make a living,” she said.

Uber announced last week that it will be launching its product UberX in the Evansville area in 2017.

Evansville will become the seventh city in Indiana to provide the ridesharing product.

“Thanks in part to the collaborative efforts of the Growth Alliance for Greater Evansville, we quickly realized that Uber would be a great fit for the community and look forward to serving riders and drivers in Evansville early next year,” said the general manager of Uber in Illinois and Indiana Marco McCottry.

Uber is a taxi service that allows customers to hire private drivers to transport them to their destination. This is available through a smartphone app.

The company hires pre-screened local drivers who use their own vehicles to drive customers around their city or town.

Phillips said that while she has never used the Uber service, she knows it is inexpensive and believes it will be more beneficial than buying a new car.

“I work on campus but if I had a job with better pay or more hours, I would feel financially safer,” she said. “Now I have to save for a new car on top of school and books and having a large sum of money for when I do get a car back so I can pay for insurance.”

Junior business management student Eric Hannesson said he has used Uber in Indianapolis and California and said he has never had a rude or bad driver.

“The reason why I like the Uber service is that they are cheap and fast to get you where you want to go,” he said. “I like Uber mostly because of how inexpensive it is and if I need a ride to somewhere, then I can get one with a click of a button.”

Hannesson said he likes that Uber has affordable prices for college students and people in the community.

“I don’t have to make phone calls,” he said. “Uber is different simply because of the customer service and cost compared to other taxi services. Other services will charge you by the minute and Uber just charges you by mile.”

Hannesson said other taxi services he had used didn’t converse with him and overcharged him for only a five-minute drive.

“A few friends and I went to Franklin Street a few weeks ago to go to the bars and had to call a taxi,” he said. “It was very expensive just to get there.”

He said he couldn’t believe that Evansville did not have an Uber or Lyft, a similar ridesharing service, when he first came to the area.

“Other people who do not have a car on campus can easily use Uber to get a bunch of groceries to put in the there, instead of trying to do that on the bus,” Hannesson said. “It’s affordable for everyone and I think it will be beneficial to all the students here as well as others in the community.”