Ride share app Uber launches in Racine Thursday

  Now that the state has set up regulations for online ride sharing services like Uber the company has announced ambitious plans to expand.

Uber is about to launch service in Racine. But is Racine ready for Uber?

Some residents we spoke with say going out for the night in Racine can be a challenge because there are just a few taxis. They say this change is a long time coming. 

\"I think that it would be used. I think it would be useful, said Jessica Miller. 

\"We have basically one taxi service in Racine,\" said Chris Barrett. 

\"We definitely need it\"

The people have spoken, and Uber has responded. 

\"Racine has bus service that only runs on the hour, we don't really have a robust taxi system here, so Uber creates additional transit options,\" said Representative Cory Mason (D-Racine). 

And it's all thanks to a new bill signed earlier this month, that standardizes rules & requirements for ride share drivers across the state. Representative Mason helped push the bill through and he says it's the main reason Uber is coming to Racine. 

\"They can operate from county to county and jurisdiction to jurisdiction with out having to go through specific ordinance city by city,\" said Mason. 

Still, some residents worry about their safety. 

\" You hear stories. Well the driver did this or did that. They really need to do a thorough background check,\" said resident Chris Barrett. 

 But mason says that's one of the main reasons this law was passed: to make sure the person in the drivers seat isn't just taking you for a ride.

\"An important part of passing this bill is making sure there are going to be some safety standards so every driver has to go through a criminal background check, carry a million dollars of insurance and the company makes sure they pass a safe driver system and there's a state agency where you can complain,\" said Mason. 

Though it's success remains to be seen after Thursday's launch, Uber Wisconsin has high hopes. 

\"The need for reliable and affordable transportation in some of these smaller communities actually tend to be much higher, \" said Andy Dries of Uber. 

As do Racinians.

\"It'll be better for our town to have more taxi services here,\" said Latisha Petty. 

The company also plans to launch services in Kenosha, Lake Geneva, the Wisconsin Dells and Waukesha. 

To apply to be a driver, visit: http://ubr.to/1cM9c5v

Share this article: