SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Business

February 12, 2014

New driving service spurs questions

A new driving service making waves across the country is entering the North Shore and about half of Cape Ann.

The company — called Uber — officially expanded into the North Shore at the end of January. UberBlack, the company’s higher-end limousine service, is now working on Cape Ann.

UberBlack uses a mobile phone application that hones in on your location. In a few taps on a smartphone, Uber sends a car to meet a fare based on the global positioning information, allowing a user to see what drivers are in the area, as well. The driver can choose to accept or deny the fare.

“The experience is seamless; it’s pretty awesome,” said Nick Mathews, Uber’s Boston community manager, who grew up in Topsfield.

While UberBlack leans toward high-end fares with luxury sedans, one of the company’s other divisions — uberX — allows drivers to use their own cars, covered by their own insurance and an umbrella insurance policy from Uber.

Uber says these drivers and their cars are inspected, and each ride is insured up to $1 million. But the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association (TLPA) considers Uber a serious threat to public safety.

Mike Fogarty, chief executive officer of Tristar Services and president elect of the TLPA, referenced an incident when a 6-year-old girl was killed in a car accident by an Uber driver on New Year’s Eve in San Francisco. The ride-sharing company claimed that the driver was not employed by Uber at the time because he did not have a passenger.

Fogarty said that is one difference between Tristar and Uber; his company is responsible for its drivers whenever they are on the road, in a company car, not just when a passenger is on board.

“It’s unfortunate that it happened; it’s a wake-up call for vehicles that (practice) for-hiring service,” said Fogarty, whose Tristar limo company has an office in Beverly.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Business

AP Video
Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best AP Review: Amazon Fire Adds Spark to Smartphones All Aboard! LIRR Strike Averted Microsoft to Cut Up to 18,000 Jobs Time Warner Rejects Murdoch's Takeover Bid Yellen Says Economy Still Needs Fed Support Cleveland Expects Economic Boom From Lebron Justice Dept. Fines Citigroup $7 Billion Justice Dept. Fines Citigroup $7 Billion Downside of Low Mortgage Rates? Less Selling Cupcake Shop Crumbs Shuttering All Its Stores San Francisco Prepares for Soda Battle Dow Breaks Record 17,000 GM Crash Compensation Could Top $1 Billion GM Won't Limit Crash Compensation Funds Justices Rule for Broadcasters in Aereo Fight
NDN Video
Zack Snyder Shares An All-New Batfleck Photo Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad
Comments Trcker