Uber is a fairly new service (launched in 2009) that allows users of its app to coordinate and pay for rides from private drivers in over 45 countries and 200 countries worldwide, with that number expected to continue growing.
The app is basically crowd-sourced transportation. After setting up the account on their Uber phone app, the person who wants a ride pushes a few buttons, and he closest Uber driver to them is notified. The rider is alerted, given the photo, location, vehicle description, and contact information for the driver who will be providing the ride.
The app keeps track of the travel, and payment is made directly from the app when the ride is over. No money changes hands.
Most seem to have had good experiences using Uber, though there have been some reported cases of extremely dissatisfied riders. According to an Uber spokesperson, thousands of Nevada residents have already downloaded the app and are looking forward to “reliable, safe and affordable transportation options” in Nevada.
The taxicab industry is doing what it can to prevent the unwanted competition, claiming that it is illegal for Uber drivers to transport others without a certificate of conveyance.
For its part, Uber is trying to prevent the argument altogether. According to their website, “Uber is not a transportation provider.” It is more of a transportation organizer.
Uber recently launched in Nevada (Friday, October 24, 2014), but not without opposition. The Taxicab Authority, with backing from the State Attorney General, Catherine Cortez Masto, is seeking to prevent Uber drivers from operating in Nevada. In total, police issued ten citations to Uber drivers on the day of launch, for providing an “unlicensed for-hire transportation service.”
Uber has since retained a Las Vegas attorney, and there is a hearing on November 6 to determine whether Uber will be able to continue to operate pending the dispute.
You can read the Review Journal article here:
Zachariah B. Parry is an attorney and founding partner at the law firm Parry & Pfau and is an adjunct professor who teaches torts, contracts, and Nevada practice and procedure for UNLV’s paralegal program. He can be reached at 702-912-4451 or firstname.lastname@example.org.