RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Uber announced its big launch here in South Dakota earlier this week starting in Sioux Falls. Will the ridesharing company soon make its way to Rapid City and will it impact Lyft drivers?
Uber and Lyft in South Dakota (Lyft)
Rideshare mogul Uber received its sales tax license in South Dakota and is quickly planning to start operations East River.
Tom Anez, a driver advisory council member for the Midwest for Lyft, says operating both companies in any location drives competitiveness, essentially making it better for everyone.
"It'll allow for a much better competition which likewise will improve the ridership for both companies. It will hopefully improve the community transportation available for everyone by hopefully having more resources out before people to utilize rideshare services," Anez said.
Lyft-driver Joe Moore provides about 90 rides per month throughout the Black Hills, and says adding Uber in the area will give tourists making their way to town something familiar.
"I know coming from a lot of the bigger cities, they have the opportunity to have Uber so a lot of people touching down in Rapid City, especially during tourism season, touching down in Rapid City, the first thing they're going to usually look for is usually Uber," Moore said.
Financially, Moore says it is a solid idea.
"If you provide enough rides, at the end of the day, the funding, the money will be there so I guess just make yourself available on Lyft and Uber to get the best opportunity possible," he continued.
Anez says drivers often find that it is more productive for them to have both apps open at the same time.
"That way if somebody decides they're going to pull open the Uber App as a passenger and request, you have just as much likely chance of getting that Uber ride request than you would a Lyft ride request," Anez said.
It just gives a bigger selection to clients and tourism coming into the Rapid City Area," Moore added.
Late 2017, Rapid City was approached by Lyft and had to update city codes and guidelines with regards to ride-sharing services.
The City says although it has not been approached by Uber just yet, it will be ready when it comes.