As seen on WNPR
By Aundréa Murray
After a year in Connecticut, Uber says it made over $8 million in sales for its services in New Haven, Fairfield, and Hartford Counties.
The ride-sharing service came to the state last April after making headlines elsewhere. The company has been providing rides in over 300 cities worldwide from Chicago to London. With recent expansions to Baku, Azerbaijan, and Kansas, the Uber team has been using marketing tactics geared towards a tech-savvy generation.
According to Uber, in New Haven County, 63 percent of trips arrive in less than five minutes. “Eighty-three percent of Connecticut residents are able to count on Uber to get them where they need to go,” the company said on its blog.
Uber has worked to gain traction in places like downtown Hartford to intensify competition with taxi drivers. The company does not own any cars; instead it connects drivers to people looking for rides. It bills itself as a safer and more convenient alternative to conventional taxis during large public events, so areas where parades and celebrations are held are Uber’s target clientele.
Below, Uber shows its geographic reach in 2014 compared with 2015:
Riders using the Uber app have their location pinpointed through GPS. Digital billing information covers the fare. Users can rate the drivers. Uber says the employment of riders is determined by this feedback from consumers.
But the service has proved controversial, not least with taxi companies, some of which sued Uber in Connecticut, saying they should be more tighly regulated. The issue has come up in the state legislature. At a Transportation Committee hearing last month, Department State Representative Russell Morin said he has respect for Uber customers and drivers, but believes that the playing field for taxi drivers and services like Uber should be level.
“What I am trying to do is wrap my arms around… why we have such strict rules and regulations for one, and we don’t seem to have any for the other,” he said.
Uber still plans to expands its coverage in Connecticut one area at a time.