It’s Official: UberX Is Here, Marc Vetri First Customer

And by “here” we mean in South Jersey.

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Nearly two years after Uber revolutionized transportation in Philadelphia with its popular car service app, the company is today officially debuting its cheaper UberX option in the region, with chef Marc Vetri scheduled to be the first UberX customer at 3:30 p.m.. The bad news: UberX is only available in South Jersey. (Vetri has a restaurant there.)

UberX works much like Uber: You use your Uber app to summon an UberX driver; the app provides the name of your driver and a photo, and the make, model and license plate number of the car picking you up; and there’s no cash or tipping — everything goes onto your registered credit card.




But while an Uber driver is uniformed and always arrives in a polished, black Lincoln Town Car or similar vehicle, an UberX driver is basically your next door neighbor Tom in his jeans, flannel shirt, and 2009 Kia.

Yes, Uber says it conducts criminal and driver background checks, but these are not professional drivers. You get what you pay for. That said, I've used UberX successfully in New York, Boston and Milwaukee. The rates are incredibly cheap, and in about a dozen rides, I never had a problem.

UberX will undoubtedly be a big hit with riders in South Jersey, but it remains to be seen how the various municipalities there will receive it. UberX has had big legal problems in, among other places, Los Angeles and Washington D.C..

And the Philadelphia Parking Authority memorably jettisoned SideCar (a similar concept) from Philadelphia in 2013, which is probably why Uber isn't bothering to launch UberX in Philadelphia. (Thanks for testing the market, SideCar!) Legally speaking, UberX can drop off passengers in Philadelphia, but it can't pick up.

If you want to check it out, UberX is offering up to five free rides until May 7th. Go here for all the details.

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  • http://Facebook.com/justus.aguy Just Aguy

    Here are some links pertaining to the issue of Ride-sharing. Caveat emptor.

    A Must Watch NBC Ride-sharing Expose
    http://t.co/JL9ZpgHuYj
    http://t.co/nb8iv34khR
    http://t.co/uhY79xAM4F

    UberX Insurance Policy “Inadequate & Unacceptable” | Minnesota Dept of Comm. | http://t.co/EJ1ZDXiZPD

    This ONE screenshot says ALL that needs to be said about the #Ride-sharing #Insurance charade!
    http://t.co/4Edsw5xlCI

    A Peek Inside the UberWONDERFUL World of #Ride-sharing http://t.co/Y7TZDcOxZo
    Twitter @chi1cabby

    • vfiorillo

      Have used it 12+ times without incident. Will ride again.

      • http://Facebook.com/justus.aguy Just Aguy

        Please do so. This is a free country and no is stopping you.
        For others who’d like to exercise a bit more discretion and judgement in their choices, this just in:
        UberX Insurance Policy “Inadequate & Unacceptable” | Minnesota Dept of Comm. | http://t.co/EJ1ZDXiZPD

  • DTurner

    I’m guessing that you don’t cross the river much if your restaurant recommendation is an outpost of a Philly establishment. Foobooz made a good recommendation with Zeppoli in Collingswood, although that is PATCO-accessible.

    • vfiorillo

      Didn’t make a restaurant recommendation.

      • DTurner

        My apologies, misread the first paragraph.