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Uber launches in Duluth

Reuters illustration

Duluthians will now have a much easier time hitching a ride using only their thumbs.

Uber began service here Monday, bringing the smartphone-enabled rideshare service to the Northland after years of residents requesting it.

“We’ve been looking at Duluth for a long time, and we wanted to make sure we did it right,” Carrol Chang, general manager of Uber Minnesota, said by phone Monday.

The company waited for the city to pass rideshare regulations, which went into effect last week, before offering rides here.

Chang said that riders will be able to get picked up and dropped off in both Duluth and Superior.

Rideshare apps have surged in popularity in major cities in the past several years. Uber first came to Minnesota about five years ago when it launched its first service in the Twin Cities.

“Since Duluth is one of the major cities in Minnesota it’s absolutely something we’ve been getting requests for,” Chang said.

The service started at noon Monday, which gives Uber a few weeks to work out any kinks ahead of the busy tourist season to come.

“In the beginning, demand may be high, and you may not be able to get a ride immediately, but we recommend waiting a few minutes and refreshing,” Chang said.

Another rideshare app, Lyft, launched last week, though it does not let riders get picked up in Superior.

Drivers are being sought for both services; visit www.uber.com/drive or www.lyft.com/drive-with-lyft to learn more.

Uber is offering free rides through Thursday for customers using the promo code RIDEDULUTH.

Brooks Johnson

Brooks covers business and the economy for the Duluth News Tribune.

(218) 723-5329
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