Update (16 JAN 2017 8:25 pm) – Ministry of Works and Transport has since issued a press release related to the launch of Uber [link here].
Uber has finally launched in Trinidad starting in San Fernando and Port of Spain. According to their newsroom release
Starting today January 16th at 11:00 am, Uber arrives to Port of Spain & San Fernando. We are proud to serve a community that prides itself on its Carnival, white sandy beaches, and a buzzing nightlife. Today we begin offering safe, reliable and affordable rides to Trinidadians. With the touch of a button, your Uber driver is ready to take you to your destination.
The release also mentions the rates. I made several attempts (weeks before today when they were recruiting drivers and preparing to launch) to get the following questions answered but was ignored even though a response was initially promised.
- Will the laws of Trinidad need to change to accommodate the Uber model?
- What do you say to persons who think we should choose a locally developed app for economic and other reasons?
- Is Trinidad and the Caribbean too small for Uber?
- Will there be opportunities for tech (and other) professionals from Trinidad to join Uber?
- What are the benefits of being an Uber driver?
- What about drivers who fear that self driving cars will replace them in the future?
- What about persons without a credit card, can they top-up prepaid and use?
- What areas will be covered or is that dependent on the drivers that sign up?
- How do persons get in touch with Uber’s Trinidad office?
- Anything else you would like to tell my readers?
I am a big supporter of public transport options. I appreciate having the option and convenience of ride sharing apps. It’s your designated driver. I’ve read that they are doing psychometric testing and background checks on drivers. I would also like to mention the promising local options like WiRide, Reach and DropTaxi. Let me know if you know of others. A big global brand like Uber will have the effect of bringing a lot of attention to this space. Local options can benefit from this and good competition should have the effect of improving the service across the board. Tourists will be used to having ride sharing options. Uber does get bad press from time to time and this is something they will have to address. Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.