Uber has been around for five years and only arrived in St. Louis less than two weeks ago. According to Fox Now: “In its first weekend of operation in St. Louis, Uber reports more than 5,000 trips took place, and more than 2,000 happened between the hours of 10 p.m. and 3 a.m.” I searched many online newspaper sources and found the same numbers. Not only did this eliminate potential drunk drivers from the road, but Uber also teamed up with the organization MADD:
“Beginning Friday and throughout the month of October, each new ride with ride sharing service Uber using the promotion code “SAFESTL” will earn the new Uber user a free ride (up to $20) and Uber will donate $5 to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The two organizations say it’s a win-win for St. Louis.”
I believe that this new car service can inspire St. Louis to provide better public transportation options for its citizens. Public transit here is limited and most people get around by car. In a city of under 350,000, to have 5,000 trips during Uber’s first weekend in operation is a feat. To take unnecessary drivers off the road, especially late at night when public transit is infrequent, is a definite success. According to the CDC, in 2013 nearly a third of all traffic-related fatalities involved an alcohol-impaired driver. That is equal to over 25 deaths every day from alcohol-fueled driving.
Uber is not going to fix all the transit problems in any city. My hope is that with this service, people demand better public transit. I am glad Uber is here and that I have it at my disposal.