As Oxford rapidly changes, so do transportation options.
In July, Uber – a semi-new technology based company that connects drivers with passengers using an online app that you can access via most smartphones – was legally allowed to operate in the town after meeting specific regulations.
Oxford has also added rickshaws or pedicabs and other unique forms of transportation.
Adam Murphy, a UM student, said he prefers using Uber when he needs a ride. “I pick Uber every time I need a ride for many reasons,” he said. “They are more reliable, and the cars seem to be more physically appealing and promising. I also noticed that the drivers seem to be very personable, especially when compared to taxi drivers.”
Uber requires that drivers drive vehicles manufactured in 2009 or newer.
Hannah Vines, who has been a Mississippi resident for 25 years, prefers to have a friend drive her places when needed. When that isn’t an option, she uses the Flying Tukk only.
“The Flying Tukk should be the only method of transportation in Oxford, but Uber did provide snacks one time, so they are pretty high on my list,” she said.
Like some taxi drivers, Uber drivers sometimes provide snacks, drinks, music, etc., for their passengers.
Niki Kurtz, a UM senior, also prefers Uber.
“Some drivers give me water bottles, and it saves my life sometimes,” said Kurtz.
Many argue that Uber is safer than taxis because of technology. There a many more benefits to clicking ‘request’ on your phone than making a phone call. It is no longer necessary to call dispatch or wait on the curb with your hand in the air.
To hire an Uber driver, everything is as easy as touching your phone. With your credit card information already stored in the app, users request their rides.
Anastasia Wilson also likes the technology provided by the app.
“I can see the picture of the driver, the license of the driver, and the vehicle they will be arriving in,” she said. “It also allows me to call or text my driver in case I change location or cancel my ride.”
When asked how she felt about the app holding credit card information, Wilson said she doesn’t mind.
“I have never had any problems in the past,” she said, “and with every ride, I receive a receipt in the mail.”
Uber is very accurate and honest about their fees, but if something does go wrong, Uber customer service is available and, many times, understanding regarding refunds.
Courtney Freeland, an Oxford server, said her favorite Uber attribute is that she can easily split the fare with her friends if there is more than one person.
Uber uses an account-based system. If you are with friends, one person has to order the ride. Uber has created a way for you and your friends to share a ride, whether it is one more person or six people.
While many prefer Uber, some, like Logan Simmons, 23, a musician from Atlanta, prefers taxis.
“Taxi drivers are never particular about what is brought in their car,” he said. “I move around a lot, so sometimes I have food, a lot of equipment, and most times, I even have my dog. Uber drivers aren’t usually as cool with all of that.”