UPDATE: Uber arrives in Chattanooga - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Uber arrives in Chattanooga

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
UPDATE: On the same day New York City shut down nearly all of Uber's bases over a battle over privacy concerns, Chattanooga's City Council approved new regulations for the ride sharing service.

The second reading of the ordinance passed 7-1.

Councilman Yusuf Hakeem's was the only vote against the measure.

Councilman Russell Gilbert abstained.

The new legislation regulates programs like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar.

The ordinance goes into effect in one month.

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 Uber is a ride sharing service used in cities across the county. People download the app, request a ride, and get picked up by drivers in their own personal vehicle.

Uber's first rides in Chattanooga began at 12 p.m. Thursday. Chattanooga makes the fourth Tennessee city to offer the ride sharing service.

In a statement to Channel 3, Billy Guernier, General Manager for Regional Expansion at Uber said drivers must be 21 or older, have a car from 2004 or newer and pass Uber's background check.

On its first day in town, the ride-sharing service was off to a slow start. People did not recognize the name or services Uber offers.
    
Channel 3 decided to download the Uber app and give it a try.

"Right when I hit request it shows a picture of our driver David. I guess it shows what kind of car he's going to be driving and his license plate. It says that David has five stars, we'll see."
    
Uber drivers can be anyone in town. They apply, undergo a background check, and drive their personal vehicle.
    
Our driver, 71-year old David, just happened to be in the area and pulled up in less than a minute after requesting a ride.

David joined Uber to keep himself busy during retirement.

"Just for something to do instead of being cooped up in the house all the time," he said.
    
Customers pay with a credit card using the Uber app, so there is no cash exchange, and David said drivers are not expecting tips.

"To me it feels safer," David said, "You know I don't have to worry about being robbed or anything like that."
    
After the ride, customers can rate their driver and drivers can rate their customers too.
    
David thinks Uber will catch on quickly in the scenic city.

"It's a fantastic idea," he said, "I mean it's in Knoxville, Nashville, Memphis, why not Chattanooga?"

One criticism of the service has been that Uber only checks criminal backgrounds for the last seven years.

If someone has a violent past from 10 years ago, they could become an Uber driver.

For more information on Uber services in Chattanooga, click here.


 

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