Mick Chester is the First Official Uber Driver in Ocean City, Md.
Uber is a car service that was founded in 2009, and now, this form of transportation is used in hundreds of cities today. Uber is an app you can access through your cell phone which connects the riders with the closet certified Uber driver using GPS services. The app tells you who your driver is and gives you an ETA of when they will be there to pick you up and take you to your destination.
The rider pays through the app, so no money exchanges are made in the car. After the rider is dropped off to their location by the Uber driver, they are asked to rate the driver between 1 and 5 stars. It is also mandatory that the driver rates his riders with 1 to 5 stars. When other riders look for an Uber driver, they can see your ratings as well. Uber also does quality control, so the driver seeks good ratings.
Ocean City officials recently approved Uber drivers in the resort area and Mick applied right away. He received his approval from Uber in about two weeks and Mick picked up his first family in OC on Tuesday, May 12. Mick is a volunteer firefighter and rescue swimmer with OC Fire Dept. and he is also a bartender.
Mick wanted to be an Uber driver to have something to do on the side during the summer and make some extra money. “That’s the beautiful thing about it is it’s my own time. I can ride for an hour or I can go all day if I wanted to,” Mick says. Uber drivers can go offline if they are busy and then their name and car will not appear on the drivers list when riders are looking on the app.
Mick says the service that is in OC right now is Uber X, which means the car has to be 2005 or newer, 4 doors, no damages, and in clean condition. There are other levels of service as well, such as Uber Black Car, which you need a chauffeur license and insurance through the state, and the prices are adjusted to that as well. However, in OC, they only have Uber X service at this time.
Mick uses his own personal car and car insurance. If riders destroy anything in his car, Uber will charge the damage cost to the rider. Taxi cabs are not too fond of Uber drivers, but Mick says it’s fair game.
“Uber is an app base, so it’s not like I’m going down the road and I see somebody flag me down. I can’t pick that person up. You’ve got to have the app and you’ve got to be a customer of Uber already. Cabs still have a fair share of customers they can pick up. They have an advantage that Uber doesn’t. They already have clientele that they pick up on a regular basis,” Mick says.
To get an Uber driver to pick you up, you download the app on your smart phone, type in your credit card information or PayPal, request where you need to be picked up, and then an Uber driver will pick you up.
Mick says visitors from OC come from places such as Annapolis, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and other big cities like these where they have been using Uber for years. Mick says he believes during the summer and the holiday weekends, there will be a big jump in demand for Uber drivers.
Enter promo code, UberOCMD to get $20 off your first ride with Uber.
Mick says he thinks there will be other people in OC applying to be Uber drivers. “There’s a lot of cars out on the road. People can do it. Anybody can do it.”