The convenient yet controversial technology software company Uber, which allows passengers to request a car service through their mobile device, launched in Silicon Valley Wednesday.
UberX Silicon Valley will offer lower priced car service to users who hope to ride between the two regional airports and Los Altos, Cupertino, Menlo Park and Sunnyvale, for example. Passengers can also request service between these and other Silicon Valley cities.
It works with local taxi companies in the role of a dispatcher and can help users find a taxis late at night. Uber users do not have to carry money; they only need to upload their debit card information to the app and Uber then pays the driver.
Uber's has a presence in several cities across the country including San Francisco and New York, but it's created a lot of controversy because of the intense regulation on their cab industries.
Aaron Levie, CEO of Los Altos-based Box.com, became Uber's "Rider Zero," that is the first person to ride in a new market, in Silicon Valley.
Uber hopes to target the young professionals in the area and local residents.
"I lived in Palo Alto and can vouch for the fact that the South Bay has some of the most expensive and least reliable taxis in the country," said Ilya Abyzov Uber's San Francisco general manager. "The launch of uberX here finally gives South Bay residents an option that's better, faster, and cheaper than a taxi."
Sample uberX Silicon Valley fares:
- Menlo Park to Sunnyvale: $38
- Mountain View to SJC airport: $35
- Sunnyvale to San Jose: $36
- Mountain View to SFO: $78
- SF to Palo Alto: $90
- Palo Alto to SFO: $60
Additional reporting from Vanessa Castañeda.