Kitchener-Waterloo

Uber ride-sharing service may be coming to Waterloo Region

The car ride-sharing service Uber may be coming to Waterloo Region. The service allows members of the public to register as drivers and make money by driving passengers to their desired locations.

San Francisco-based service being used in Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax

Uber has entered more than 100 markets, ranging from its hometown of San Francisco to Tokyo to New York. In Canada it is operating in Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

The ride-sharing service Uber may be coming to Waterloo Region.

The company is gauging interest in UberX, an app that allows people to sign up as drivers and ferry passengers to their desired destination. Uber has recently issued an open call for potential drivers in the region. .

The company says potential drivers must be at least 21 years old and have a license and insurance. They also must have a mid or full-size 4-door vehicle that is considered in excellent condition. Uber says it screens all potential drivers with an in-depth background check before allowing them to accept passengers. 

Lauren Altmin, a spokesperson for the company, says the process of connecting drivers and passengers is all done through the mobile app. 

"If you're in need of a ride, no matter where you are or what time, you open your phone and you press a button that says 'request a ride' in the Uber app," said Altmin. "You see the driver's face, their name, their type of car and their license plate as well as their rating because everyone driver, and rider, on the Uber platform is rated." 

Altmin says the cost of a fare is about 40 per cent cheaper than that of a standard taxi cab. 

The company is originally from San Francisco and is now operating in cities around the world. In Canada, it is being used in Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.

Uber offers three types of services: Uber Taxi, which allows existing taxi drivers ways to find fares, Uber Black and Uber SUV, for limo and large vehicle drivers, and UberX, for private vehicles and drivers. 

However, it was exiled from Vancouver in 2012, due to requirements by the BC Passenger Transportation Branch. It has also received complaints from cab companies in Toronto and Montreal for disrupting business and operating without the same kind of licenses required for taxis and limo services. 

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