Ocean Springs residents excited to see Uber to the Coast

Ocean Springs residents excited to see Uber to the Coast
Uber could make it's way to the coast as soon as July. (Photo Source: WLOX News)

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The error message in ride hailing service apps like Uber may be gone by July.

"Uber is all around the country right now, it needs to be in South Mississippi. It'd be great," said Reith Gibson.

Gov. Phil Bryant signed a bill on Tuesday giving the state control over regulating driver-on-demand services, taking the burden off of local governments.

Riders in Ocean Springs say they are excited about the bill. Currently, there's no taxi service that operates out of the city. To hail a cab, riders have to call a service in a surrounding city.

"It creates jobs and it creates a safer way to get around if you've been drinking out right here in downtown Oceans Springs, you can call an Uber," said Gibson.

With an active nightlife scene, businesses in the area say they are excited about the new service.

"I think it's gonna be great. It'll draw more people out at night knowing they'll have a safe way to get home. You don't have to worry about what you're doing at night to get home," said Will Larson, a server at Mosaic Tapas Restaurant in Ocean Springs. "You're gonna be out and more relaxed and more willing to have a few drinks."

Mandie Szigeti says she's looking forward to Uber so she can have fun with her friends.

"I'm always the DD [designated driver], so it would be really nice to have a drink and not have to worry about if I can't drive or anything like that. It's really great to know that I can call someone up and they can come pick me up if I've had too much," said Szigeti.

Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran says she hopes to allow the service to start when the bill goes into effect in July.

The bill requires each ride service to pay a $5,000 yearly license fee. The company also must have insurance covering the transportation of passengers up to $1 million, and drivers have to undergo a criminal background check.

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