The popular ride-sharing and vehicle-for-hire service Uber officially launches in Asheville on Thursday at high noon. I’ve written several stories recently about how ride-sharing services are moving into Asheville. I’ve noted the local response by local for-hire drivers and taxi services. Also this week, UNC Asheville announced that the UhaulCarShare Program had arrived on campus (see below).

Also, here’s a fun GQ story about an Uber driver’s experience. The teaser:

City by city, Uber is upending the taxi business, even though its rides can be pricier than cabs. So what’s the hook? Instant gratification, a hint of glamour, even some sex appeal. That’s what GQ’s Mickey Rapkin discovered after spending one week as an Uber driver. He also saw and heard some things he’ll never forget.

Now comes Uber. Asheville, are you ready? Here are some details in an email that went just went out to Uber drivers:

Tomorrow is the big day! Uber is set to launch in Asheville, NC. Whilst this is great news because it will provide a number of jobs for the community and also offer the consumer more choice. Nonetheless, Uber is not without its faults as accidents have been inevitably recorded in other areas where they have been operating. If you have had an accident involving Uber then it is important you speak to a lawyer regarding your case. It must also be noted that accidents are inevitable but the impact of Uber has been largely positive across the areas around the globe that they cover.

We’re guaranteeing at least $12 per hour if you hit the road tomorrow between noon and 3am! On top of that, if you are online for at least 6 hours tomorrow (8/21) between 11am-Midnight, we’ll give you an extra $50 bonus as one of our founding partners.

Read on for important details surrounding our launch, then you can hit the road to make launch day a success!

Our service area covers Asheville and the surrounding area, including Downtown, West Asheville, Biltmore, and Grove Park. You can only pick-up riders while logged on in the service area, but you can take riders to drop-off locations outside the service area.

For the best chance of getting rides and earning money, head to the hot spots below! Red dots are the areas we expect to be busiest, followed by orange and yellow. We’ve already seen a lot of demand for Uber coming from Downtown.uber_launch_1_2014

Starting Thursday, Uber riders will have 5 FREE RIDES up to $25 for the first two weeks after launch so demand will be high (partners are paid during this time, see below for more details)!

To be eligible for the $15 per hour guarantee, you must accept 80% of all requests you receive and complete at least 1 trip every hour. To be eligible for the $10 and $12 per hour guarantees, you must accept 80% of requests and complete at least 1 trip every three hours. For the best chance to complete trips, head to the hot spots in the map above!

*For a $50 launch day bonus, sign online for at least 6 hours between 11am and Midnight on Thursday, August 21st!

The fares for uberX in Asheville include a base fare plus a distance and time charge:
Base Fare: $1.95
Distance: $1.50/mile
Time: $0.20/minute
In most Uber cities, we charge a $10/week mobile fee. However, we will waive that fee for the first week to help increase earnings. That’s even more reason to hit the road and show users what Uber’s all about!

Uber offers best-in-class ridesharing insurance!

As a reminder, Uber offers comprehensive insurance beyond your primary policy. You can find complete details HERE.

Our industry-leading insurance covers:
Liability insurance when on an Uber trip
Contingent liability insurance when available but not on a trip
Contingent comprehensive and collision when on a trip

You can get extra cash by referring RIDERS and PARTNERS to Uber!

On the client side, you can give riders in your car who have not signed up for Uber a promo card. They’ll receive $20 in credit for their first ride, and you’ll receive $5 for every rider you sign up with your promo code! Click HERE if you need to order cards or want to learn more about the promotion!

On the partner side, you can refer partners to Uber in any city where we are live through either the BLUE BUTTON on your Uber app or THIS LINK. Both you and your referral will get $100 if they sign-up through your referral link and complete just 1 trip on the Uber system!

And here’s the word on UhaulCarShare from UNCA:

The addition of the two UhaulCarShare cars, which have dedicated parking spots in front of Brown Hall, represent a new transportation option, bringing access to a car without the expense of purchasing, storing, and maintaining a personal vehicle.

There also are three cars with dedicated parking spots in downtown Asheville that are available to members of the program. There is no fee to become a member and enrollment can be done online at www.uhaulcarshare.com. Members must be at least 18 years of age with valid driver license and credit card. Once approved, members can reserve a car online, enter the car and start it with an access code. Each reservation includes insurance, roadside assistance and the member will only pay for the time and miles used.

The Office of Public Safety at UNC Asheville has partnered with the City of Asheville and U-Haul to bring this program to campus.

For more information, please contact the Office of Public Safety at UNC Asheville at pub_safety@unca.edu or 828.251.6710.

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6 Comments

  1. Has anyone had any trouble with the app showing the wrong address for pickup. Does anyone have any suggestions of how to solve the problem.

  2. I used it for a night out Saturday night. I had to refresh a few times to get an available car at around 7:30. The driver took a long time to get to me, and did not seem good with navigation, even after calling him and giving him directions over the phone. But after picking me up, the ride was pleasant enough. I used Uber to get home at midnight, and that driver was quick, responsive, and overall a nice guy.

    I think there are not enough drivers for the current demand, but the demand is inflated right now since you can use Uber free 5 times until next weekend. It will be interesting to see how they are doing in a month or two after the newness has worn off. I will use them again for sure.

  3. I used Uber in Seattle and loved it.

    But has anyone had any issues with not having drivers available? I looked at my app several times and there were no drivers available. This was at midnight saturday (when I would think we need them to take folks home that have had too much to drink) and this morning at 8am which is typical rush hour.

    hmmm….perhaps Uber needs more drivers but I wouldn’t have rolled out something to such fanfare if you don’t have enough drivers to fill the need.

  4. Let’s hear some reports! Did anyone drive for Uber this weekend? Did anyone use the service to get around? Very curious to see if a system like this can work in a lower-demand environment like Asheville . . .

  5. UHaulCarShare at $4.95/hour plus 49 cents/mile. Looks like a great solution for carless students who need to move stuff a short distance.

  6. At these normal Uber rates (watch out for their peak pricing where the rates can go up as much as 8x), they are roughly 30% off of Asheville cab rates.

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