Car service app adds Indy

June 20, 2013
After quietly rolling out over Memorial Day weekend, the vaunted and sometimes controversial car-service app by Uber Technologies Inc. is ready for prime time in Indianapolis.

The San Francisco-based firm brought executives to town on June 20 for the official launch. Uber is a smartphone-based service that links riders to idle town cars for a quick response time and no-hassle payment.

Riders register their credit cards online, and Uber processes the fare, taking a cut for itself. And there’s no need to tip the drivers, said Andrew Macdonald, regional general manager for Uber Midwest.

Macdonald said Uber takes advantage of the frequent downtime in limo or town car service, which tends to be airport-oriented. Between calls, drivers can log onto the Uber system to find more business.

The Indianapolis business so far revolves around nightlife, Thursday through Saturday, but Uber hopes to see it picked up by the city’s many visitors.

“It’s such an event city,” Macdonald said of Indianapolis. “These are occasions that people use Ubers.”

Uber is not cheap. The base fare is $6, plus $2.75 per mile, or 60 cents per minute (when the car is rolling at less than 11 miles per hour) with a minimum of $12.

Uber is in more than 20 cities, and in some it competes with the regulated taxi business.


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