SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Business

February 12, 2014

New driving service spurs questions

(Continued)

He also questioned Uber’s insurance policies and tactics in not using livery licenses for uberX drivers, which he said creates an “unfair competitive advantage.”

The North Shore service will hit as far south as Lynn, Melrose and Marblehead and reach up to Topsfield, Andove, and South Hamilton, according to a service map on the company’s website.

For Cape Ann, UberBlack will cover most of Gloucester west of the Annisquam River, including Magnolia, with the city cutoff line being Atlantic Street. The company is also now covering much of Essex and Manchester.

Mathews said Uber drivers are carefully chosen, and the company works with those who are already livery or limousine drivers so they can pick up fares in their downtime by partnering with local limousine or livery companies using their cars.

“You could leverage our platform to get more jobs in your downtime,” he said.

He said Uber drivers go through thorough background checks — on par with Massport’s airport transportation service — and Uber makes efforts to ensure the company’s independent drivers know the area.

James Niedzinski can be reached at 978-675-2708.

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