St. Petersburg, Florida-- Meet Don Zubrick. An IT professional by day...and our driver for the night.
"It's something I decided to do on the side to make extra money doing what I like doing, which is driving," said Zubrick.
Don's one of Tampa Bay's first UBER-X drivers. A phone app service, that connects everyday people-who use their everyday cars-to give YOU a ride.
"I've already met a couple cool people- a great couple going out to dinner tonight."
Users just download the app and link your credit card, then request the driver.
So how safe is it to be riding around in an unmarked car, with a complete stranger? It may be safer than you think.
"[We have] the most rigorous background checks you'll find in the industry," says Rachel Holt, Tampa Bay's UBERX manager. "County, state, city, sex offender registry, motor vehicle checks…and all rides are insured for $1 million."
Don tells us he went though not only a background check, but also went through training, and gets rated by users, on a one-to-five star satisfaction scale.
UberX claims their ridesharing costs on average, 35-percent less than traditional cab services, basing fares on distance and demand.
For our roundtrip ride from the 10 News station in St. Petersburg, to International Plaza in Tampa, and back, it cost $50. We checked with cab companies, and the cost averaged about 40 bucks one-way, plus tip and could be more based on traffic.
Once you arrive at your destination, there's no cash or tipping required. Everything is taken care of through the app.
For the next two weeks, the service is free in the Tampa Bay area, for rides up to $50. Click here for more information.