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Commuters Are Ditching Their Cars, Using Uber

Posted at 4:26 PM, Apr 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-12 23:56:29-04

Driving a car is a big part of many peoples' lives, but more and more Nashvillians have taken the back seat and begun using ride-sharing companies like Uber for their main mode of transportation. 

According to Uber, since launching in Nashville more than two years ago, the company has seen an increase in ridership when it comes to commuters during rush hour.

The company is well known for being an alternative for taxis for tourists or those who have had one too many at a honky-tonk, but is turning into a viable option for people when it comes to their transportation needs.

Kimberly Novosel is one of the many Nashvillians who ditched a car in favor of using Uber to get from place to place. Novosel moved to New York City and enjoyed the city way of life, taking the subway or cabs to where she was going and not having to drive.

"I got so much more done when I was on the subway or in cabs and not driving." Novosel said.

When Novosel moved back to Nashville two years ago, she made the decision to continue to be car-free, and use Uber instead. 

"I don't have to worry about parking, which is awesome in Nashville right now." Novosel said. 

Uber drivers like Ray Turner, who has been driving for Uber for more than a year, said while he gets a lot of tourists in his car, he is constantly getting more locals who are commuting for work. 

"I have some customers that get in, and they want to do nothing but conduct business." Turner explained.

Novosel is one of those customers that likes to get things done while on the road. "Mostly what I like to do is answer emails, but I also check social media, do any replies or follow-backs I need to do." 

When it comes to value, Novosel said taking Uber beats driving her own car after factoring in car payments, gas, parking, and upkeep.

"Some people say they don't think it would work for them, but they haven't seen the numbers." Novosel said. "It definitely saves me money. If you can be bold enough to get rid of the car, do it." 

MTA is taking notice of the possibilities ride-sharing companies like Uber can provide to Nashville's transportation. According to MTA, they're looking to partner with ride-sharing companies like Uber to extend the reach of their service and provide new mobility opportunities to Nashvillians. 

While there are no plans set in stone, MTA is hoping to launch a ride-sharing pilot project in the near future with those companies in the private sector. 

According to Uber Nashville, the wait time for the majority of riders is less than 10 minutes in the metropolitan area, and less than 5 minutes in the downtown area, on average. 

Riders from 55 different countries have used Uber in Nashville since it's launch more than two years ago.