One of South Mississippi's first Uber drivers talks about the benefits

One of South Mississippi's first Uber drivers talks about the benefits
(Photo source: WLOX file)

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - It's been a long time coming, but South Mississippi, your Uber is arriving, again. And it's all thanks to a law that went into effect July 1st, that gives the state regulation over the ride hauling service.

The ride sharing app made its grand re-entrance just ahead of the 4th of July weekend. And ready for the re-launch was Uber Driver Michael Versiga.

"I logged in about 9 o'clock on Friday, and I really wasn't sure that a lot of people knew about this yet. So I wasn't sure that I was gonna get a lot of fares at all. But within five minutes of logging in on Friday, I got my first fare. And I stayed out until about 2:30 in the morning. I got one fare after the other," said Versiga.

The basis of the app is simple. Open the app on your smartphone, and with just a few taps you set your pick up location, then request a ride.

"Then I'll get the notification, and it'll bing on there," said Versiga.

On the other end, the rider is given the driver's name, license plate, and car description.

"The riders have got the piece of mind to know that Uber puts all their drivers through a full background check," Versiga said.

And drivers come from all types of backgrounds. Versiga's main job is as a law enforcement officer. He said he's making a pretty penny off of doing Uber on the side.

"Right now, I'm averaging $18 to $20 an hour," he said.

For riders, they say they're glad to have another mode of transportation on the coast.

"It's safe, it's convenient, it's better than riding in a cab, it's cheaper," said Uber rider Ernest Lazard.

Versiga said the next challenge is getting the word out about the service and getting more drivers operating.

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