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Uber Eyes Expansion Into Prescott Area

(Photo courtesy of Uber)
Uber is a San Francisco-based ride-sharing company.

The ride-sharing company Uber may soon offer Yavapai County residents a new alternative for getting to work, a doctor’s appointment or home from the bar.

“As far as I could tell, they’re very much looking to come into this community,” said Vincent Gallegos, transportation planner for Central Yavapai Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Uber confirmed the application-based business is considering launching in the Prescott region, also called the Quad Cities, which include Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley and Dewey-Humboldt.

A recent meeting between Uber and Yavapai County officials went well, said Taylor Patterson, a company spokesperson.

“We’re excited to continue expanding in Arizona,” Patterson said. “We have seen a tremendous amount of enthusiasm for the product in the markets in which we operate now.”

Uber would help augment public transportation systems that are usually only available during weekday business hours, Gallegos said.

“The Uber possibility I would think geographically would really open up, whereas our public transportation is more limited as to where they can access,” Gallegos said.

People without vehicles need more options for getting to work, according to Alex Wright director of the Yavapai College Regional Economic Development Center.

“We want to make sure people can get to jobs, because that is going to directly impact what occurs in our local economy,” Wright said.

Uber is already in Flagstaff, Phoenix and Tucson. Wright said it needs to recruit drivers before it can serve the Prescott area. She expects that to happen at an upcoming job fair.

“They’ll need about seven or eight drivers in order to launch the platform in Prescott, so I expect we’ll be seeing something by early summer,” Wright said.

Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.