Uber, the ride-sharing app, has launched its service in Red Deer.
Starting at 12 p.m. Friday, Uber X went live in the city, becoming the fourth in Alberta to use the service. It is also available in Calgary, Edmonton and Lethbridge.
Ramit Kar, Uber Western Canada general manager, said the company was eyeing Red Deer for a long time.
“We are pleased to be launching in Red Deer to offer people safe and reliable transportation options when they need it.” he said. “Uber also provides flexible earning opportunities for local residents.
“We’ve seen thousands of people in Red Deer open up the app looking for a ride over the last few months. We’re expecting it’s going to be great.”
The company did not release how many drivers they have in the Red Deer area. However, Kar said now that the app has launched in Red Deer they expect interest in becoming an Uber driver to increase.
Through a phone app, passengers are connected to drivers. Rides are requested. Once the ride is completed, money isn’t exchanged in the vehicle, but a bill is acquired through the app and is paid regularly. Drivers can be tipped.
“We’ve tried to make it convenient, seamless and affordable as possible,” said Kar. “Generally speaking, in Red Deer you should be able to get a ride within a few minutes. You push a button and a car will arrive to you in a few minutes.”
Both drivers and passengers are rated out of five stars.
Uber has also partnered with Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada. Kar said there really is no reason for someone to drive while impaired.
“In cities where Uber operates in Canada, rush hour for ride-sharing is not first thing in the morning or at the end of the day when people are getting to and from work, but late at night when bars close. That is why we are pleased to see Uber coming to Red Deer to provide people with a safe ride option when they need it the most.” Andrew Murie, MADD Canada CEO.