Ridesharing service launches in Greater Lafayette

FILE - The ride service Uber launches in Greater Lafayette in August of 2014. (WLFI File Photo)
FILE - The ride service Uber launches in Greater Lafayette in August of 2014. (WLFI File Photo)

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – A new ridesharing company is launching services in Greater Lafayette that could save you some cash.

Open the app on your smartphone, choose your starting location, click request and an Uber driver is on their way to pick you up.

“Sounds pretty cool,” Purdue University freshman Cassidy Morron said about the new service.

She’s not the only one on board with the new idea.

“That would be awesome because whenever I called the cab it took like a half hour for them to come,” Purdue University sophomore Cedrick McDonald said.

Uber general manager Pooneet Kant said not only is it convenient, but he said Uber will save you some cash.

“Prices are on average 40 percent cheaper than a taxi across the country,” Kant said.

When you request an Uber ride you won’t notice any markings on the car.

“They’re driving their personal vehicles around and these are people who know the cities and the communities and are excited to provide transportation there,” Kant said about the drivers.

Some Purdue students said they’re OK will riding in someone’s personal car, but others aren’t so sure.

“You just honestly don’t know who is picking you up,” Purdue University senior Kyle Saunders said.

Kant said as soon as drivers are hired Uber does a thorough investigation.

“The first thing they go through is a very extensive background check that covers county, multistate, federal sex offender and motor vehicle records,” Kant said.

When it comes to choosing the new way to get a ride or calling up a traditional taxi cab, Saunders said he’ll stick with a taxi.

“I just think there are creepy people out here these days, and I just wouldn’t trust random people to pick me up,” Saunders said. “Especially because a lot of people use it like sober rides, and they think it’s OK and that would be a total disaster for someone to be drunk and get picked up by someone they don’t know. Anything can happen.”

Uber is looking for more drivers in Greater Lafayette. You can apply online here. You must have a valid drivers license, be 21 years old or older and have a four-door car in good condition. Drivers make 80 percent of the fare cost.

News 18 talked to several local cab companies Thursday. Several said they are concerned that Uber drivers and their cars are not held to the same standard as licensed taxi cab companies.

We plan on following up with a local company in the future.

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