Following its operating agreement with the California Public Utilities Commission, private car service Uber is moving forward with plans in San Francisco to onboard more of those drivers who aren’t specifically licensed to drive a limousine or taxi cab. In a blog post today, the company said that it hopes to bring on drivers to grow its UBERx service, which will lead to shorter wait times on the road.
In January, Uber announced that it was reducing the cost for riding in an UBERx vehicle. For those unfamiliar with this service, passengers are picked up by non-town car vehicles.
Uber says that all of its drivers that it screens will adhere to California’s requirements to drive and also will need to pass a series of rigorous screening tests given by the company, including completing a background check, an in-person screening, a city knowledge exam, and “other ongoing quality controls.”
What makes an UBERx driver different from other services like Lyft and Sidecar? Uber says that it’s all about “real fares”, not “donations”, meaning that it is 100 percent transparent with its partners and drivers. Additionally, the service says that it doesn’t schedule drivers nor does it tell them when they can or cannot work — they’re all treated as independent contractors.
If you read Uber’s post, it is firing a salvo across the bow of Lyft and Sidecar, two of the popular ridesharing services in San Francisco. And it’s not that surprising since Uber mentioned recently that it had permission to pursue a ridesharing service.
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