ROCKFORD (WIFR) — You may have heard the word Uber before; it’s an alternative to taxi service, where people use their own vehicles to provide rides. The service is expected to launch in Rockford soon.
Toby Niedermeier is ready to work out of his own car. He’s signed up to be an Uber Rockford driver, after getting laid off from his full-time job.
“It opens up a lot of opportunities for people to get out there on the road,” said Niedermeier.
Approved, freelance drivers will be able to give people rides throughout Rockford and surrounding areas.
Connecting with an Uber driver is pretty simple, all you do is download the Uber App on your smartphone, and tell the driver where and when you want to be picked up.
“The GPS on your phone already tells the Uber driver where you’re at,” explains Niedermeier.
As a rider, you’ll see a picture of the driver on your phone, so you know who to expect and when.
“You’ll know where the Uber driver is at, it will pick out the one closest to you,” said Niedermeier.
Niedermeier says we should only have to wait about five to ten minutes. As a driver, you have about 15 seconds to accept a ride request, otherwise it goes to the next, closest driver.
Niedermeier says he met with Uber reps about a week ago and they told him Uber Rockford would be ready in about two weeks. The City tells 23 News that Uber has talked about a kick off, but hasn’t given them an official date yet. We’re still waiting to hear back from Uber.
Uber Rockford would travel as far north as South Beloit, but won’t cross into Wisconsin. It would cover Rockford, Loves Park, Machesney Park, Cherry Valley, Belvidere, Poplar Grove, Rockton and Roscoe.
If you’re interested in a free ride with Niedermeier once Uber launches, click the attached link.
To apply to be a driver with Uber Rockford, click the other attached link. You must pass a background check and your driving record must be approved. There are also certain vehicle requirements.
Uber sets the prices for rides and they may vary depending on demand and time of day.
Uber riders and drivers can rate each other between 1-5 stars. If a rider or driver gets a 3 or less, that rider and driver will not be paired up in the future.
Uber Website: https://www.uber.com/