Peggy Wilcox and Brian Bennett want to take you for a ride.
That’s what you do when you are an Uber driver offering the popular ride-sharing program in Roseburg for the first time.
Uber touts one-click ride-sharing through a smartphone app. People can request a ride, and, if drivers are available, they will come pick the person up within minutes.
“Uber is very efficient,” Wilcox said. “You can get picked up within 5 minutes, and fares can be less than $5, depending on demand and how long the ride takes.”
Bennett said he thinks it’s awesome Uber is in town.
“It gives taxis a little competition,” he said, adding he thinks the app offers quicker service than calling a taxi.
Wilcox said the driving service is really needed in Roseburg.
“There’s a lot of retired folks here and teenagers who need to get around and don’t have a car,” she said. “It’s less expensive than cabs.”
The rider can see the driver’s name, license plate number and type of vehicle. No money is directly exchanged as the person pays through the app via credit, debit or PayPal. After the ride, the rider rates the driver and the driver can rate the passenger. Uber does not take reservations.
Uber also offers a delivery service. People can order food from a restaurant and Uber will pick it up and deliver it through an option on the app called Uber Eats.
Bennett said he enjoys meeting the people he drives around. In the three weeks since he started driving for Uber, he’s driven about 16 people.
Wilcox used to be an Uber driver in the Portland-Metro area before moving to Roseburg a year and a half ago.
“Once I heard they were coming to Roseburg I got re-certified,” Wilcox said. She’s certified to drive in Oregon and Washington and plans to work every afternoon. Wilcox just turned on her app as a driver on Monday and has been going around town distributing coupons for $5 off the first ride.
Wilcox said the more drivers available, the more Uber can serve the community. Those who would like to become drivers can apply and take a driving knowledge test. Cars cannot be more than 10-years-old, and a certified mechanic will look at the car and inspect the tires.
“Try it and you’ll like it,” Bennett said.