A new transportation option is open to people in the greater Lansing area.
Uber rideshare service began offering rides to people on Thursday, July 24, 2014. East Lansing Mayor Nathan Triplett told WILX News 10 that Uber announced their service to Lansing by sending an email out to riders who have already signed up for the service.
Mayor Triplett said he and Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero will send out a press release welcoming Uber to the capital area.
Triplett says it will provide another transportation option for residents of this community, as well as providing a rideshare option to visitors to the area who are already familiar with the Uber service.
Uber works differently than a conventional cab company. Users download the Uber app to their mobile device, and order a ride from that. They also pay for their rides via credit card information that is stored in the app, so no cash ever changes hands between riders and drivers.
Uber is expected to announce their service in other areas around the state today as well, including Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Flint. Uber already operates in Ann Arbor and Detroit.
The company is offering a free ride promotion in Lansing to its new users. After people sign up, they can get five free uberX rides, up to $25 off per trip.
The service has advertised on Facebook in recent days, looking for people who want to be Uber drivers.
Uber met with controversy after it launched in Detroit, and Ann Arbor over questions around the cities' ability to regulate its operations, and whether the service would fall under the requirements of the Michigan Limousine Transportation Act. .
Mayor Triplett responded to questions over the controversy Uber has met with other areas, saying "People can choose to embrace innovation, or they can choose to fight it. I'm glad we're choosing to embrace innovation and provide residents with another transportation option."