By Collin Rivera
Uber was founded in San Francisco by a University of California dropout in 2009. Now, it is in more than 450 cities and 70 countries, and has over 40 million monthly riders. The ride-sharing company is worth more than $51 billion and is becoming more popular in Oxford.
Before Uber, the main source of transportation to local hot spots was the Angel Taxi service and the OUT bus transportation system.
“I love it,” said sophomore John Hall. “I’ve been using it since it came out in my hometown in Tampa. Once I saw the news on Facebook that it was coming to Oxford, I couldn’t believe it because Oxford is such a small town that it seemed like they would never get it, but I’m really happy they did.”
Hall said he’s used Uber five times in the past two weeks. “Whenever I go out to the bars, or just to the Square in general, it’s always a clutch way to get there and not have to worry about finding a designated driver at the end of the night,” he said. “It also helps save me more money too, because with the taxis, I was having to pay easily $10 to $15 more per trip, and it just wasn’t worth it at that point.”
Sophomore Mary-Beth Gottlieb has also found Uber beneficial.
“Whenever I go out shopping on the weekend, and I know it’s going to be a really hectic time trying to find parking, I just take an Uber now, and it saves me so much time, no matter what the cost could be.”
Gottlieb said she used Uber more than seven times last month.
“Don’t get me wrong,” she said. “I don’t try to always go out that often, but whenever I get a new paycheck, I always head down to the Square in an Uber so I can have a good time without worrying about the metered parking situation.”
Gottlieb believes Uber is cheaper when it’s not football season. “Uber is pretty expensive during football season,” she said, “but so were the taxi services, so it kind of all balances out. Either way, I don’t mind paying the extra dollar or two.”
Although Uber has benefits, there are disadvantages. Uber sometimes charges more than metered taxis (depending on the area), and the customer can pay only with a credit card after registering and creating an Uber account.
Uber’s selling point is flexibility. With so many drivers pulling various shifts throughout the day and night, it’s no surprise that students are using the service.
“I’ve even taken it to class one time,” said Hall. “The parking was just too insane towards the Tad Pad, so I just went home and got an Uber to take me almost directly to Bryant Hall. The best part was it was only $8.”
To learn more, read: Uber Part 1: Student workers earn big bucks driving for Uber