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Sunday, July 21, 2019



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Uber begins statewide service earlier than expected

Uber begins statewide service earlier than expected

Uber announced Tuesday that it will expand its ride-sharing services throughout the state effective Wednesday.

The move comes after the state Legislature approved House Bill 575, sponsored by Houma’s Rep. Tanner Magee, regulating all ride-sharing services across the state and placing them under the oversight of the Department of Transportation and Development. The bill, signed by Gov. John Bel Edwards at a ceremony at Nicholls State last month, went into effect Monday.

State leaders previously said they didn’t expect the service to take effect locally until August.

“Louisianans from all corners of the state will soon have access to new transportation options and opportunities to earn additional income, with reliability in new service areas continuing to grow in the weeks ahead as more people learn about Uber,” the company announced in a press release.

“We welcome Uber’s expansion throughout Louisiana to meet the needs of our residents and visitors,” Magee said. “I’m excited for my constituents to finally have access to rideshare, which can decrease the number of DWIs and increase the number of jobs in communities.”

Nicholls President Jay Clune also praised the new service as a way to increase transportation, create job opportunities for students and increase the campus’ connection with the rest of Lafourche Parish.

Areas such as Terrebonne and Lafourche parish were left behind when ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft were introduced in the state’s larger cities. After three years of debates in the Legislature, uniform regulations finally passed.

“We are thrilled to launch the Uber app throughout Louisiana, giving people in more communities the opportunity to earn money and request rides at the tap of a button,” said Trevor Theunissen, director of public affairs for Uber South. “We thank the legislators, businesses, Uber driver-partners, community leaders, and all those in the Let’s Geaux Louisiana Coalition for their work to bring ridesharing statewide in Louisiana.”

Those interested in becoming Uber drivers can sign up through the Uber website, uber.com.

Riders can download the free app and create an account.

“Uber’s expansion is a win for the state, riders and drivers like me,” said Gwendolyn Wallace, an Uber driver from New Orleans. “Tourism is so important to Louisiana, and I am always proud to pick up riders from all around the world and talk to them about our great state. Now, I can bring a visitor in New Orleans out to a city like Houma or Thibodaux -- and they will then be able to get a ride back to New Orleans.”

 

-- Daily Comet Staff Writer Julia Arenstam can be reached at 448-7636 or julia.arenstam@houmatoday.com. Follow her on Twitter at @JuliaArenstam.