By Tania Chakraborti
It was announced this morning that Uber, the popular taxi app, will begin fares in Durham from this afternoon.
The company estimates journeys from the University to Durham station will cost between £4 and £6, while anyone travelling from the city centre to Newcastle airport should expect to pay around £39 to £53.
Uber faced conflict last month in the capital city when it was announced that Transport for London (TFL) had decided to forgo renewing its license for private hire. The grounds cited by TFL included poor reporting of criminal offences and a lack of appropriate background checks on behalf of the company.
Despite this, Uber is being launched in Durham due to popular demand, joining more than 40 other UK towns and cities that still retain use of the app and its services.
Uber’s General Manager for Durham, Neil McGonigle, spoke of the Durham launch: “In the last six months, people in the city have opened the app more than 100,000 times in anticipation.
“Starting today, you can use the Uber app to get from A to B at the touch of a button.”
The response from Durham students has been mixed.
Ellie Drescher, a second year Economics student and Gilesgate resident, stated her delight at the move: “I’m really pleased that Uber has launched in Durham as I frequently have to use taxis to get home and the cheaper alternative means I can save more money and also avoid a walk to the taxi rank in town to find cheaper fares.”
Abigail Walker, a second year law student, expressed a different view: “I don’t think Uber will be particularly useful in a city where everything is within a 15 minute walk.”
Uber vehicles will be available for hire in the City from 4pm today.
Photograph: freestocks.org via Creative Commons