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Lawton mayor says Uber launch good for community

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Another ride-sharing service is now available in Lawton, as Uber officially launched Wednesday evening.

This comes after two other ride-sharing services, Tride and Lyft, launched locally in the last few months. Uber uses an app you can download on your phone that allows you to order a ride anywhere you need to go with just the push of a button.

Uber Oklahoma General Manager David Brightman said Uber is already offered in Oklahoma City, Norman and Tulsa, which he thinks will make the transition to Lawton extremely easy.

"We actually have a number of drivers who live in Lawton and are commuting into Oklahoma City to drive there,” Brighton said. “So, we're excited to give them the opportunity to drive nearby and know we are going to pick up speed over the coming weeks."

Lawton Mayor Fred Fitch was the first Uber rider in Lawton Wednesday morning but said he is no stranger to the app.

"My wife and I have been members of Uber for about a year and use it when we're out of town,” Fitch said. “It works so well, you know who the driver is, you know what the car is, you know what the number is, it's all in the computer file. So, when they're picking us up they know that we got into that car with that driver and everything. It's a very secure system."

Mayor Fitch said he thinks Uber will be a great tool for the community, including trips to the airport. In the past, he would have to leave his car there and pay to park. Now, Brightman said you can just call an Uber, and can even know exactly how much it costs before you ever leave the house.

"When you open the app, type in the destination in the where-to bar, you'll actually be shown an exact price, you know exactly what you're getting before you push the button,” Brighton said.

Mayor Fitch said he thinks the app could go a long way in making the roads in Lawton much safer.

"It can be the designated driver for these young people or for adults for that matter. It definitely will help in that area,” Fitch said.

One concern we've seen in the past is how these ride-sharing companies will operate with soldiers on post trying to order a ride. Keith Pannell of the Fort Sill Public Affairs Office issued a statement to 7NEWS, saying "In compliance with gate security, any driver on post will need a gate pass or a Department of Defense I-D to get on post."

You can get those passes at the Visitor Center by the gate on Sheridan Road. There are already some Uber drivers here in Lawton, but the company is always looking for more.Find out more on how to become a driver here.

Copyright 2017 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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