Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.
Those looking to catch a ride in Sherman may soon have another option. Officials with Uber announced that the online-based transit service will start service in the city on Friday.
Uber, a smartphone app, allows riders to connect with Uber-affiliated drivers for trips and transportation services. The service currently operates in more than 600 cities in 77 countries.
Uber Texas Communications Director Travis Considine said HB 100, which was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott in late May, created a statewide regulatory framework for ride-hailing companies. A Texas Tribune article said, the law “requires ride-hailing companies to have a permit from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation and pay an annual fee of $5,000 to operate throughout the state. It also calls for companies to perform local, state and national criminal background checks on drivers annually — but doesn’t require drivers to be fingerprinted.”
In February, the Denison city council approved an update of the city’s codes regarding taxi services. The updated ordinance sets standards for vehicle insurance, and requirements to become a driver. Each company must have a business license and each driver must undergo a background check and have a separate driver’s permit.
Considine said the app and its drivers work 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He said drivers have to undergo “a robust background check and vehicle inspection that helps to insure passenger safety." Considine said the service is perfect for a wide variety of trips from one to a local doctor to those to an out of town attraction in the Metroplex. He said opening up in Sherman essentially expands Uber’s market in the Metroplex.
City Cab of Sherman owner Jason Yeargain said he doesn’t anticipate that Uber will make a big difference to his business.
“It is a smartphone app and this area has more of an older community,” Yeargain said, noting that many of his customers wouldn’t use an app to order a ride for things like doctor’s visits or shopping. “It might help the bar customers.”
Yeargain said he no longer does those kind of late night runs. He said it also might cut into some of his out of town trips.