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Fancy Car Service Launching in Chicago

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Sep 23, 2011 9:30PM

2011_09_23_uber_car.jpg Premium car service Uber has officially taken to the streets of Chicago. Uber's fleet of black cars respond to clients' locations via a smartphone app and handles payments automatically through a pre-dedicated credit card account. This is the fourth city for the nascent company, joining San Francisco, New York City and Seattle. Its co-founder says Chicago's unforgiving climate makes it an ideal environment for their sleek, black town cars and Escalades. CEO Travis Kalanick told TechCrunch:

Because of the nightlife, the awful weather for seven months of the year, and the large number of sports arenas in the city; demand for Uber could be great.
Fares will cost about 50 percent more than a typical cab fare. There is a $15 minimum on rides. The pay structure is $7 base, plus $3.50 per mile and $0.85 per minute, tipping included. The maximum for a trip from downtown to O'Hare is $75, to Midway $65. Compare that to the cost of a typical Chicago taxi cab: $2.25 base, $0.50 fuel surcharge, $0.20 per 1/9th mile, $1 for first additional passenger, $0.50 per passenger after, tipping optional. Airport fares vary.