Uber Technologies, Inc., or just Uber, is a ridesharing company based in San Francisco and operates in over 785 metropolitan areas worldwide. Uber offers peer-to-peer ridesharing, food delivery, bicycle-sharing, and ride-hailing. Uber allows riders to see transparent fares for their trip ahead of time and gives people the opportunity to make money by becoming drivers for the service.
Uber was founded in 2009 as UberCab and was changed to Uber in 2011. Garrett Camp came up with the idea after spending $800 on a private driver on New Year’s Eve. He wanted to find a way to reduce the cost of transportation. Originally, the app only allowed users to hail a black luxury car, which cost significantly more than hailing a taxi.
Uber’s expansion faces barriers to entry, such as developing the service in different languages and currencies. Uber also faces push back from taxi drivers and unions, who have fought Uber for a number of reasons, including misclassifying drivers as independent contractors or taking away customers from taxi drivers. For example, the Taxi Workers Alliance in New York fought Uber in 2018 and won, “making New York the first city to mandate a cap on app-based, fir-hire vehicles, and the first to mandate a minimum wage for Uber and Lyft drivers. In Barcelona, Uber suspended services in January 2019 after the government imposed a 15-minute waiting period before picking up passengers for ride-share apps. This is following protests by Spanish taxi drivers.
Uber has completed more than 5 billion rides worldwide and fulfills 40 million rides per month in the United States alone. Uber is currently available in more than 80 countries around the world.
Uber currently operates in over 85 countries; however, there are several popular tourist countries where Uber is not available. Before traveling, it is advised to check Uber's website to see if your destination has Uber available in case other transportation arrangements need to be made.