As of last Saturday the popular ride sharing service, Uber, launched it’s first “snow” specific option powered by Backcountry called UberSKI. Now, snow enthusiasts can hail a ride using the new UberSKI feature on the current app. Patrons will be sent a vehicle equipped to take on the snow and ready to carry you and all your gear to a number of different ski resorts. Launch took place in Utah. The kickoff happened in Utah. User in Salt Lake City or Park City could request a ride to all major ski resorts along the Wasatch Front. To promote UberSKI the first ride was given to non-other than the “line of the year” winner Angel Collinson and her buddy and Park City native Sierra Quitiquit.
Why it’s a good idea
This can be used similar to a carpool. Grab a couple friends order a ride and head up to the slopes using one vehicle instead of each person driving separate. Of course this is better for the environment and will reduce congestion and help you avoid parking issue. Win, win! Concerned about who’s picking you up? Uber conducts background checks on their drivers to ensure passengers are delivered as safely and efficiently as possible. Some states have even passed new laws requiring drivers to complete a medical examination and mandatory vehicle inspection prior to shuttling clients. Now there will be no need to stand out in the cold thumbing a ride, praying you are lucky enough for someone to stop so you don’t miss first chair!
Ride-sharing rural expansion
You may be surprised to learn that this isn’t actually new for Uber…well, let’s clarify. The app UberSKI is new, but the service is not. In January this year, Uber launched in Colorado providing service to ski towns including Summit County, Vail, Aspen and Steamboat. At the time they were the only ride-sharing service that expanded into rural mountain towns. Uber had received enough inbound requests to justify expansion into the high country.
On the horizon
What’s next for UberSki? Reports say that by the end of the December, this ride-sharing service will be hitting Lake Tahoe! The launch is planned for both the Nevada and California sides of the lake. Due to the proximity of San Francisco, where Uber originated, Tahoe has always been in sight for the company. The holdup was due to heavy influence the cab companies have in the state of Nevada. After reaching an agreement with the state, it’s full steam ahead! No specific launch date has been announced, but the recruitment for drivers is happening now. If interested head over to Squaw Valley now until Thursday to an Uber session to qualify.