With the ever increasing need for taxis in the county, Lincolnshire Reporter has looked at whether Uber should launch its service in towns in Lincolnshire.
Uber, which has its headquarters in San Francisco, has been in the limelight for a number of years, with some commenting on its ‘convenience’ and ‘safe’ service, while others have said how the services is ‘unfair to drivers’ and ‘unethical’.
What is Uber?
Uber is a taxi service in which a user of the app can hire a private driver to pick them up and take them to their chosen destination.
The company claims that by using the app, the service is a lot cheaper, and costs the user much less to travel around.
According to Uber, the nearest driver to the user can often pick up the user within minutes, cutting the usual taxi waiting time.
On the app, there is also a map, where you can track your driver and know how far away they are and how long they are going to be.
It is also believed that Uber is safer for drivers, as the app uses online payments, meaning a driver is not travelling at night carrying cash.
Uber seems to have had mixed reactions with members of Facebook group You’re Probably From Lincoln If…, with people undecided whether the service should come to the county.
Adam Waistell-Brown said: “I used an Uber last week in Swindon and it was amazing, cheaper than a normal cab too.
“The app is really easy to use and you know where your driver is via the map! Would love them to start here!”
Maria Shaw added: “I have used Uber in London, Nottingham and Sheffield.
“Drivers I chatted to liked Uber as it made it less risky for them (as in no cash carried) and made bookkeeping easy for them too.
“As far as the user is concerned, it’s unbelievably simple and cost effective.”
However, Belinda Allan commented: “It’s not always good to have around, not an ethical company. Not good for local companies trying to offer a local service.”
Jimmy Khan added: “Competition is always good but Uber is a global company and if things go wrong they are one of the difficult companies to get things sorted.
“Uber is only interested to bring more profit for their shareholders and don’t have any interest to local economy or individuals who work for them.”
A benefit for Lincolnshire?
So would Uber actually benefit the county?
According to Councillor Colin Davie, responsible for economy and place at Lincolnshire County Council, the county is in need of a good transport network, but stopped short of saying whether Uber was the answer.
He said: “One of the priorities in our visitor strategy is to help tourists and residents to know all about the wonderful attractions across the county.
“There are days and days worth of good things to visit in Lincolnshire.
“Whilst it isn’t my place to comment about specific businesses like Uber, having a good transport network -including taxis driven by well informed and welcoming staff – is an important part of that strategy.”
What has Uber said?
Despite many people in Lincolnshire suggesting Uber would be a benefit for the county, the company has no plans of coming to to the area any time soon.
A spokesperson for Uber UK told Lincolnshire Reporter: “Uber is regulated as a private hire operator and in order to partner with locally licensed drivers in Lincoln/Lincolnshire we have to hold a licence from the local council.
“We have not applied for this licence and don’t currently have any plans to launch in Lincoln or other towns in Lincolnshire.”