Ocean City Welcomes First Official Uber Driver - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Ocean City Welcomes First Official Uber Driver

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Mick Chester, Uber Driver Mick Chester, Uber Driver

OCEAN CITY, Md.- The first official Uber driver came to the resort town just two weeks ago.

Uber is a car company that operates off of a mobile-app. The Uber app allows consumers to submit a trip request, which is routed to crowd-sourced taxi drivers.

Mick Chester is an Ocean City resident that decided he would be the first Uber driver in the town.

"I went through the application process, everything was online, it included an extensive background check, they checked my driving record, went over my insurance and looked at my car to make sure it was up to par," Chester said.

According to Chester, in order to be an Uber driver, the car must be 2005 or newer and in clean condition with no damages or scratches. Right now Ocean City only has UberX but there is also Uber Black Car which is a professional driver that can produce a chauffeur license and insurance, Chester said.

The O.C. local had his first pick up on Tuesday but said he hasn't had anybody since.

"That's the beautiful thing about it, it's my own time, I can do it whenever," Chester said. "I can ride for an hour or I can do it just one day if I wanted too."

Chester considers this a "side project, to kill time, have fun in the summer and make extra money," while he bartends over the summer.

According to Chester, his insurance stayed the same, he just had to qualify for Uber.

Uber made it's debut in March 2009, so Chester believes it will do great in the beach town.

"Visitors come to Ocean City come from big cities around us like Annapolis, Baltimore, D.C., and Philly," Chester said. "All these cities already have Uber, there's a lot of people that are used to this service, they've been using it for years."

Chester says he believes more and more Uber drivers will start popping up in the area. He says it's all a matter of supply and demand.

"There have been other drivers in town, but as far as I know, I'm the only resident," Chester added.

Although Ocean City cab drivers may not be thrilled about this service coming into town, Chester thinks it won't make too much of a difference for them.

"There's plenty of cabs in town and cabs still have plenty of customers, they have an advantage, a fan base," Chester said." Uber is app based, so it's not like I can see somebody on the road and they can flag me down."

To use Uber, customers must download the app on their smart phone, enter their credit card information or Paypal account and request where they would liked to be picked up.

According to Chester, much like cabs, there's a small base fair of $2.76 which charges by the mile and by the minute.

Uber does require their drivers to rate customers at the end of the trip and vice versa.

"It makes you want to do a good job, the better ratings the more customers you have," Chester said.

Lastly, although Uber drivers use their own cars, the customers are linked through Uber so if something is destroyed, the customer will get charged for it.

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