A couple weeks back, we reported on rumors that Uber was making a foray into the Athens market. At the time, a company representative would only say Uber was "excited about the possibility," but now comes confirmation from the rideshare service.
Uber announced today it will begin operating in 24 new markets across the country, including Athens, as well as many other college towns: Oxford, MS, Tuscaloosa, AL and Bloomington, IN are all on the list. The additions bring the number of Uber-served cities to 205—or 55 percent of the U.S. population, according to the company:
Today we are one step closer to our vision of UberEverywhere — a bold idea that no matter where you are, a reliable ride with Uber is just 5 minutes away. With today’s launch of 24 new markets, the Uber network is now available in 205 cities across 45 countries and 6 continents worldwide (bring it, Antarctica!) — more than double our #Uber100 milestone reached just four months ago. With more than 100 cities in the U.S. (now covering 55% of the U.S. population), 10 cities in India, 6 cities in China and 43 cities launched in August alone, those numbers are growing every day.
Uber is wasting no time courting local riders: In an email to Athens-based users, the company says it is offering a promotional special on its uberX service for the UGA-Clemson weekend. By entering the promo code DAWGSFREE, users can ride free (up to $25 per ride) as many as five times before Sept. 1.
However, the email does warn users that they can expect some hiccups:
If you don't see uberX at first, don't worry! Since Uber is still in testing phase, there may be times when availability is limited. Just refresh your Uber app again after a few minutes to request a ride and you'll be on your way. Uber’s most reliable coverage area can be found here, but will be rapidly expanding around Athens.
UPDATE: A quick glance at the Uber app's Athens-area map revealed two available cars at 3:45 p.m. Thursday. Let's hope the game is sufficiently upped come Saturday.