After Uber announced its intentions to operate in Trinidad and Tobago, the company has gotten the go-ahead to begin service from Monday 16th, 2017.
The ride-sharing service has announced that it will first be made available within the Port of Spain area, just in time for the upcoming Carnival celebrations being held in late February.
Just like in many other countries, Uber links people looking for a ride with drivers with a few simple taps via their mobile app. Unlike traditional taxis, Uber drivers can pick up riders at (almost) any location, and can go wherever they like, once they fall within the approved coverage area.
In the United States, payments can be made to drivers either by credit card or cash, however users must still have a credit card tied to their account so that Uber can withdraw service charge fees if riders decide to pay drivers with cash.
It’s unclear what payment options will be made available here, but expect a similar scheme to come into play.
When asked about rider safety, Julie Robinson-Centella, Uber’s Communications Associate of Central America & Caribbean, said that drivers go through the relevant checks such as getting a certificate of character from the local police officials, and taking various psychological evaluation tests.
She said that between the time they first announced their intentions to operate in Trinidad, hundreds of drivers have since been screened and vetted, and should be on the streets come Carnival time.
Uber also provides insurance coverage for both riders and drivers should they get into an accident and suffer injury. Drivers are covered by Uber’s insurance policy only during a trip. As a result, their cars still need to be covered by personal insurance otherwise as non-Uber accidents are not covered by the company.
Robinson-Centella also added that pricing will be made available once the app goes life. For anyone familiar with the app, the price can be calculated by entering the desired route and then choosing the desired level of Uber service (such as UberX, UberXL, or Uber Select).
While there has been a bit of concern over the safety of the new service, many are still willing to try it out as an alternative to public transport, which is difficult to get during the night.