I stood on the curb waiting for my ride hoping I had given myself enough time to get to my destination.
“Your Uber is arriving,” flashed my phone.
In just under 4 minutes, my first Johnson City Uber had arrived.
Uber, which came to Johnson City just two weeks ago, is advertised as a ride-sharing service that allows customers to request a ride via an app on their phones. The app will notify the nearest certified Uber driver and within minutes a car will appear to take the customer to their destination. Essentially, it is a cheaper, faster and more convenient taxi service.
According to Thomas Cooper, who has been an Uber driver for 3 months, it’s a fairly easy process to become a driver.
“The selection process was just a very intense background check and proving that you had a car in good condition,” Cooper said.
And it seems like Cooper is fond of his job. “I love it,” he said. “I really enjoy meeting new people.”
Cooper, a Johnson City resident, initially started driving in the Knoxville area. When Uber arrived to Johnson City he moved his daily route closer to home. However, that doesn’t mean that he’s just restricted to Johnson City.
“Uber doesn’t just cover Johnson City, it covers all the Tri-Cities now,” Cooper said.
Cooper is optimistic about the success of this new location particularly with the college student population.
“I expect [the Tri-Cities] to get a lot of business, especially at ETSU,” he said. “When I was driving in Knoxville most of my business was from students at the university. I expect it to be the same here.”
Aaron Gentle began driving for Uber just last week and so far has found Cooper’s statement to be true.
“The good bulk of my business at night comes from ETSU,” Gentle said.
Gentle has good news for those looking for a quick pick up time.
“The time it takes for me to get to the customer once a ride is requested has been under five minutes without a doubt pretty much every time.”
Those interested in trying the service for themselves can get up to $22 off of their first ride using the promo code “FEELING22.”