San Francisco, New York, London, Paris — and now Orlando. UberX, the popular venture-backed ride-sharing application, went live in Orlando June 4. The Orlando Magic’s Victor Oladipo was “rider zero” in Orlando, said UberX Orlando General Manager William Guernier.
As far as actual numbers, Guernier would only say that there are “hundreds and hundreds” of registered drivers and “tens of thousands” of users registered. The ride-sharing is set to cover Orlando initially.
“Really, the city of Orlando and the close outlying areas,” Guernier said. “As our supply grows, our coverage areas will expand. Our plan is to have Uber be available everywhere in Florida.”
On the marketing front, Uber is free until June 20, and if you download the app and share it on social media, you can get $10 off a ride (as do the people who use your code). The company also will partner with events, offering free rides to and from them.
So what about the lack of permitting from government officials?
“Ride-sharing is a bit of a new paradigm,” Guernier said. “It didn’t exist when the rules were crafted. … Just because there’s no regulation surrounding something doesn’t mean that it’s not allowed.”
Guernier said the company still is looking for more drivers, and typically tries to make sure there are enough so that customers can get a ride in five minutes, but a few enough that “drivers are making a good living.”
Other Uber Technologies products eventually are expected to start in Orlando, too, Whatever you do, though, don’t refer to UberX as a taxi. “UberX is a ride-share application, not a taxi,” Guernier said.