Uber starts up in Kingston

Screenshot of Uber’s announcement.
Screenshot of Uber’s announcement.
Credit: 
Supplied by Uber

With Uber in town, Queen’s students no longer have to rely solely on taxis for a late night drive home.

As of Thursday, the ride-sharing service became available in Kingston along with Windsor and the Niagara Region.  

As a service, Uber is typically cheaper than traditional taxicabs. Fares can be estimated in advance and payment is made via credit card on the Uber app.

The mobile application allows users to pinpoint their location and request a ride. Users are provided with the driver’s personal information, including their license plate number, while the vehicle is en route.

Uber drivers aren’t subject to the regulations applied to registered taxi companies, which determine fare amounts and set standards for customer safety. Uber drivers don’t require taxi licenses and aren’t subject to municipal taxi commissions.

The legal discrepancies between the two services have resulted in heated protests around the globe. In July 2015, a protest in Toronto labeled Uber as an illegal taxi brokerage service.

In response to safety concerns — particularly concerning sexual assault allegations — all Uber driver-partners must pass background checks and criminal record checks, with a zero-tolerance policy for criminal history. Motor vehicle records are also used to screen drivers.

With the addition of three new locations, Uber is now operating in eight cities across Ontario.

In Kingston, Windsor and the Niagara Region, new users will receive two free rides — up to $20 each — until Sunday, Nov. 15 at midnight. 

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