SPOKANE, Wash. - The car service Uber launched in Spokane yesterday. It's one of many cities worldwide to welcome the service.
"It's an amazing service when you're out and about to get from one end of the city to the other end," said Greg Kauwe, the first Spokane Uber customer.
Kauwe said the whole process is completely user friendly.
"It's really simple! I downloaded the app on my iPhone and it works by GPS it links all your payment information. You just set it to pick up at your coordinates and it just cruises along side of you, hop in and they ask you where you want to go," said Kauwe.
Uber says they are on average 28 percent more affordable than taking a cab. When compared to several other Spokane cab companies, Uber is almost a dollar cheaper per mile.
"When I use a cab it usually takes me about maybe 10 minutes just to set the whole thing up, but with Uber I just simply log into my app and I click," said Kauwe.
A few other added features, the application allows you to see how close the nearest driver is; estimate the total fair of a trip; and there is no exchange of money, it is all paid for on your phone.
"I actually link it to my PayPal account, which offers another added layer of security for people who are worried about that sort of thing," said Kauwe.
Both customers and drivers said the easy payment is an added bonus.
"You pretty much end the ride, they give you a rating and add a tip if they want, that's pretty much it," said Michael Auayan, Uber Spokane driver.
Auayan chose to make Uber his full time job. In addition to setting his own hours he said, "You get to be yourself. You don't have to act a certain way, you don't have someone hovering over you telling you what to do."
All drivers drive their own cars, but Uber still puts all candidates through an interview process.
"A background check, made sure I had all my papers, inspected the car and he gave me the thumbs up," said Auayan.
Uber says they have been proactive with the City of Spokane to make sure there are no licensing issues.
In honor of their launch they are offering free rides until May 22nd, restrictions apply.
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