Uber quietly rolls out in the Twin Cities

Uber MinneapolisUber is one city closer to being “everyone’s private driver,” with word that the driver-on-demand service is rolling out in Minneapolis-St.Paul, beginning this fall.

The company today confirmed that Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Love was amongst the first to be treated to a special ‘secret Uber’ experience where travelers can find and reserve luxury transportation service on the fly using a mobile app.

Uber customers can see available Uber drivers nearby in real time, check reviews, make a reservation, track a drivers proximity, and even make a payment through the service.  Uber commands anywhere between a 50-100% premium over the traditional taxi option depending on the situation.

What started in San Francisco 2009/2010 has since expanded with $43m funding to at least a dozen US cities, including international markets Vancouver and Paris. The company also appears to be experimenting with different vehicle types beyond their flagship luxury brand promise (Lincoln, Mercedes, BMW, Cadillac) in certain locations, as the New York Times reported the alternative Uber option of hybrid vehicles which would both soften the environmental footprint while appealing to a different customer base.

While the service has generally been widely welcomed and adopted by consumers, the controlled environments that taxi cabs and such services typically operate in have not fared well in the face of change.  Uber’s arrival understandably creates more choice and pricing competition in an otherwise archaic industry; legal turmoil has erupted from east to west — with DC currently gridlocked on the matter.

“Over the next few weeks we’ll be working to fine-tune our pricing, fleet, and supply during this research phase,” says the post.

Uber declined to commit to a specific date around when the service will be fully available here for those who don’t play professional sports, but did allude to more Uber to come.

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Comments

  • Andy

    Thanks for reporting this Jeff. I have used Uber in SF and was really impressed. Many of my co-workers that live in DC use it regularly. Great service. Happy to see it launching in MSP.

  • http://loopcommercial.com/ Jason Sandquist

    I had the opportunity to meet with the launch manager and get a look at the behind the scenes operation. Their big public launch should happen in the next few weeks at Target Field. I’ve had the app sitting on my phone for 18 months just waiting to be able to use it!

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