WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The ride sharing application "Uber" just launched its services here in The Port City. Wilmington is among the first five cities in the state using the transportation system.
Wilmington is in the second batch of cities in the state selected for the ride sharing application after Charlotte and Raleigh.
Users simply open the app, request a pick-up, and the nearest available Uber driver gets a notification. The app tells you who is coming to get you and what kind of car they'll be driving. All payment can be made through the app, so there's no need for cash.
Uber drivers use their personal car and work whenever they want. Wilmington Uber driver Jonathan Ward owns a printing company and uses Uber to make some extra money. He says it's a safer and more convenient transportation option.
"I would get in any Uber driver's vehicle personally, and that says a lot, 'cause I wouldn't just jump in anyone's car," Ward said.
The drivers go through a criminal and sex offender background check before they can become an Uber partner.
Ward thinks once the word gets out about Uber, many folks will choose it over other transportation services like taxis.
"The taxi industry has to step up," said Tracie Chrisante, manager of Katt's Taxi in Wilmington.
She says there will always be competition, but the taxi industry is going to have to step up its game.
"Cabs should be clean. Drivers should be nice," Chrisante said.
Because ride-sharing apps are fairly new, legislation regulating the services has yet to catch up. States are slowly but surely clarifying how these services handle insurance policies.
Folks that have used Uber in other cities rave about their service. Kendra Bullington has used Uber many times.
"It's more personable than a taxi and honestly more reliable," Bullington said. "I've never had a bad experience with Uber."