WICHITA, Kansas – The mobile app, Uber, has taken the country by storm, giving customers a new option for getting around.
Uber has seen explosive growth since it was founded in 2009.
The app offers services in 118 cities, including Kansas City, and 36 countries across the world.
Jonathan George is the CEO of Evomail in Wichita.
He says when travelling to bigger cities, like San Francisco and New York, Uber is useful in helping him get around the city,
“It literally is the mode of transportation, the preferred mode of transportation when I’m travelling to a larger city,” said George.
The app seamlessly connects riders to drivers with the push of a button, eliminating the time you might have to wait with trying to call a cab.
When you register for service with the Uber app, payment information is taken down so that when you are dropped off, you are billed to your phone.
While the Uber craze has been seen in bigger cities, Wichita hasn’t jumped on the bandwagon yet.
City Councilwoman Janet Miller says the city is taking a closer look into this mode of transportation.
“I’ve asked our city manager to do some research into it and have staff report to us what they learned about the service,” said Miller.
To get Uber services in Wichita, some hurdles would have to be cleared first.
In 2012, the city put new taxi regulations in place, including the need for a 24-hour dispatch system.
It’s something Uber wouldn’t be able to provide.
However Miller says these regulations could be possibly be revised.
“There needs to be a review of how that fits into our existing ordinances or whether we would need to create some new ordinances to accommodate that,” said Miller.
Uber has faced legal challenges in other cities, like San Francisco and Washington D.C., accused of running an unlicensed taxi service.
Those cities claimed Uber was illegally undercutting the cab business.
Phone calls were made to local cab companies in Wichita to get their thoughts on Uber and how it could affect business if they started providing services here.
Those calls were not returned.