TIJUANA.- UBER, the revolutionary app that brings a reasonably priced driver to you with just a few taps of the finger, has officially launched in Tijuana. The city will now be the 169th, and one of only three in Mexico, to host the transportation service, where users can call on safe, reliable, and affordable rides within minutes of requesting one via the app.
A recent press conference officially launched the service, which had been operating for a month during a test period. Present at the conference were Rodrigo Arevalo, General Director of Uber Mexico City; Christopher Ballard, General Director of Uber San Diego; and Emanette Peniche, Marketing Director for Uber Tijuana.
How does it work?
Just like in every other city, the process begins by downloading the app onto your smartphone, and signing up for an account to include your credit card information. One of the biggest benefits of the service is that Uber is cashless, and the fare will be directly charged from your credit card. No need to tip either.
Once you have installed and registered your Uber account, the user can open the app at any time and request a driver to your location in less than five minutes. With the experience that Uber has developed in the more than 43 countries and 169 cities it operates in, the service has a sophisticated understanding of which locations and during which schedule the demand for the service are highest, which guarantees that users are quickly served.
VIDEO : A ride with UBER
Who are the drivers?
One of the most noteworthy aspects of UBER is the scrutiny with which they select the drivers enrolled in the service. Amongst other requirements, drivers must undergo a health physical in order to ensure that they are up to the task to safely transport UBER users. Vehicles also have to comply with certain standards.
Why did UBER come to Tijuana?
Rodrigo Arevalo explained that in Mexico, UBER is only currently available in Mexico City and Guadalajara. The choice to come to Tijuana third was mostly due to the economic revitalization that the city is experiencing, and many companies have expressed the need to obtain reliable, and affordable transportation for their clients.
What are the benefits of UBER?
Arevalo indicates that UBER has been known to reduce traffic in the cities where it operates. UBER is also more environmentally friendly, because one UBER driver does the work of about 20 cars. It is estimated that 98% of the life of a car is spent parked. Other benefits include the fact that UBER helps reduce the amount of vehicular crashes by being a more effective alternative to designated drivers.
For now, the base fare is $30 pesos (less than $2 dollars), and costs 2.5 pesos per minute of each trip and nine pesos per kilometer. The expected cost of an average trip is around $100 pesos (less than 10 dollars), and the fare is automatically charged off the credit card on file.
Uber has been testing out the market for the past month, and has so far been thrilled with the results as well as user feedback which indicates that the service will be a great success.
In the long term, it is anticipated that UBER San Diego will work in conjunction with UBER Tijuana to improve commercial relations in the Cali-Baja region. According to Christopher Ballad, the idea is to one day be able to summon an UBER on one side of the border, and get out in another country.
Another thing worth mentioning is that UBER is one of the most successful startups going right now. Travis Kalanick and Garret Camp are the founders of the project, which was initially thought up in 2010 when a trip to Paris proved the difficulties of fetching a cab after leaving a tech conference. Upon returning home to San Francisco, they initiated tests of the UBER project. The rest is history and true to its Startup core, UBER continues to support Startups around the world. Tijuana is no exception and, to that end, UBER Tijuana will be based in HUB STN, a place where the team has been able to engage with local entrepreneurs and support the movement.