Uber comes to Morris County

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A rider requesting a ride using the Uber app

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The Uber app on an Iphone.

Since its founding  in 2009 in San Francisco, Uber has become more than just a success, it has become a household name with operations across hundreds of cities in dozens of countries and a subsequent valuation of $18.2 billion. Uber is so powerful, with its massive profits and army of lobbyists and former White House staffers, that it can bulldoze into a place where it is explicitly illegal and start operating there regardless.

Now, Uber, known for letting people order private drivers using a smartphone app, is in the Morris County area. Uber has been operating in major area in New Jersey, such as Hoboken and Jersey City, but now residents of Parsippany and Morristown can use the service.

Uber is a ridesharing service that uses a smartphone application to connect passengers with drivers of vehicles for hire. Customers use the app to request rides and track their reserved vehicle’s location. As of August 29, 2014, the service was available in 45 countries and more than 200 cities worldwide, and was valued at $18.2 billion.

It’s easy to download the application on your smart phone, using Google Play or the App Store on Iphone.

Once a user downloads the app, they can set up an account and add their credit card. When they log in and request a ride, the app will give you an estimated cost and the closest Uber driver will be notified and on their way.  You can tract there whereabouts and know their estimated time of arrival.

Due to the lower fees that accompanied the program, the service became extremely competitive with traditional taxi services, expanding Uber’s appeal to a broader cross-section of the market.

Uber’s pricing is similar to metered taxis, although all hiring and payment is handled exclusively through Uber and not with the driver personally. In some cities, if the Uber car is travelling at a speed greater than 11 mph (18 km/h), the price is calculated on a distance basis, otherwise, the price is calculated on a time basis. At the end of a ride, the complete fare (which does not include a gratuity—Uber’s exact wording is “No Need to Tip”) is automatically billed to the customer’s credit card. Uber has said its high prices are the premium that the customers pay for a cab service that is not only reliable, but also punctual and comfortable.

During high demand times such as Halloween, New Year’s Eve, or severe inclement weather (such as heavy snowstorms), Uber increases its prices to “surge price” levels, attracting more drivers. Uber has also used surge pricing during extremely inclement weather, such as a July 8, 2013, rainstorm that flooded many streets in the greater Toronto area, and during Hurricane Sandy. Customers receive notice when making a reservation that prices have increased. During New Year’s Eve 2011, prices were as high as seven times normal rates, causing outrage in response. Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick responded: “…because this is so new, it’s going to take some time for folks to accept it. There’s 70 years of conditioning around the fixed price of taxis.”

Uber is offering first time customers a $30.00 ride credit by using this promotional code: 6ch4o. This code is valid until November 23.

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Copyright 2014 Parsippany Focus

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