Many Bendites have been anxiously waiting for a ride sharing service to come to Bend, and this week those big city dreams are coming true. Uber officially launches in Bend on Thursday. As one friend joked on Facebook: Welcome to 2009! The car service kicks off its Central Oregon debut with a ceremonial ride on Wednesday.
The Bend Chamber reports that new local Uber driver, Betsy Littlefield, will give a ceremonial ride to Casey Roats and George Endicott, the mayors of Bend and Redmond, respectively. That ride starts and ends at Deschutes Brewery this afternoon, according to the Chamber. Then on Thursday, the service is open for anyone who needs a ride.
Because Bendites tend to take things to the next level, we’re curious to see how the town will put Uber to good use. There will definitely be the expected convenience of getting rides home from downtown after a fun night out or a lift to the airport. But other ideas that pop to mind: Getting an Uber to pick you up and take you back your car or house after a river float, using an Uber to shuttle you out Century so that you can ride the trails downhill back into town, taking an Uber to Mt. Bachelor so that you don’t have to park.
The options are endless, and beg the all important questions: Will Uber drivers have bike and ski racks? And will an Uber driver strap a giant, inflatable pizza floatie on top of her car? We don’t know, but when we find out, we’ll tell you.
More to come …