Uber arrives in the East to mixed reviews

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The arrival of the popular Uber company in the East is being met with mixed reviews.

ECU students said they are happy to have it in Greenville because it makes traveling around easier.

“You can be anywhere and press the button and they will come and pick you up,” said ECU Freshman Cami Haney.

Instead of calling a cab company, Uber offers people the convenience of getting a ride by just a click of a button on their app. It’s already in hundreds of cities and more than 60 countries. Some students said they would use Uber over a cab.

“A lot of my friends use it, and it’s pretty reliable and it’s probably better than taxis and stuff honestly. It’s a lot safer,” said ECU Junior Tyler Besser.

On Friday, Gov. McCrory signed a bill in Charlotte regulating companies like Uber. The bill would require companies like Uber to pay a $5,000 annual permit fee, have insurance, and conduct background checks on their drivers.

However, some local cab companies don’t think those requirements are enough.

“We go through too many hoops, and they don’t. It’s not a fair playing field,” said Michael Long, Owner of K&M Cab in Greenville.

Long said he has to spend thousands of dollars every year on background checks, insurance, and permits. He said he isn’t concerned about the competition Uber presents, but rather the safety risks.

“There’s too many innocent girls downtown, and they don’t know who their getting in the cab with, or in the Uber car with,” he said.

He said he wants to see companies like Uber held to the same standards cab companies are in the state.

According to Uber’s website, drivers undergo local, federal and multi-state background checks. Along with Greenville, the website also says they have drivers ready to serve customers in New Bern, Morehead City, and Jacksonville.

To learn more about Uber, click here.

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