'Tech Taxi' Service Makes Its Way To Tulsa

Thursday, March 27th 2014, 11:37 pm
By: News On 6

Uber, a technological take on the traditional taxi cab is providing a new way to get around in Tulsa, thanks to the Tulsa Young Professionals, "Bring It to Tulsa Campaign."

It's all done through an app, and according to Uber, a ride sharing app used in cities around the world, the future of the taxi is in the tech.

Uber Oklahoma manager Pooneet Kant, explained it as, "A technology company that provides an application that connects riders and drivers."

You tap where on the app, select who you want to pick you up, and when the car arrives, you get a text.

You even pay through the app, with an option to split the fare among friends.

"We really view it more like ridesharing, where these are ordinary citizens of Tulsa who are using their own cars to transport people around the city," Kant said.

He said Uber drivers go through extensive background checks and are required to have insurance.

Founder of local company, Joy Ride, Patrick Cuningkin said his company is almost identical to Uber, with one major difference; Joy Ride charges a flat rate.

"Fifteen dollars in town from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and after 7 p.m. it's always $20 in town," Cuningkin said.

Joy Ride doesn't have an app, but uses texting to get information. Like Uber, you can see the driver and track the car.

Joy Ride averages 100 riders a weekend; Cuningkin said it's the future of taxis.

"There are companies that are growing significantly because they're providing a more personable service," Cuningkin said.

Green Cab Company disagrees. Companies like Green Cab have to be licensed by the city, but Uber and Joy Ride do not, because they're classified as tech companies.

Green Cab released a statement saying, "Our cars are checked [by the city]. Our drivers are background checked. They don't have the insurance that we have."

The city of Tulsa is speaking out about Uber not being licensed. It released a statement stating the city is "actively looking through ordinances to see how a concept such as Uber fits into them."