Uber service debuts in Stockton

Anyone who has spent time in larger cities such as New York or Washington, D.C., knows how easy it is to get around. Either through public transportation, a cab, or a bikeshare, residents of larger cities usually have a good number of options when it comes to getting from Point A to Point B. In Stockton, if you want to get somewhere, taking your own car is almost always your only choice. But today, Stocktonians can now enjoy at least one convenience that had previously only been available to large metro areas, as private car service Uber is now open for business.

A private driver service made possible by smart phones, Uber has become a mainstay with young professionals in nearly every major city inside and outside the U.S. With Uber, residents have a new, more convenient way to get around if they are planning a fun night out and don’t want to drive. Using a smart phone app, riders can locate Uber drivers in their vicinity, pick the driver they want, and wait to be whisked away to their preferred destination. And there’s no fumbling around with credit cards or money. Payment — including the tip — is linked to your Uber account, so once you get to your final destination, all you have to do is get out.

SCL Uber blog picThe new service is a potential game-changer for residents. Stockton has long been a city where you can only really get around with your own personal car. There is limited taxi services*, and buses don’t reach everyone at convenient times, especially at night. With the introduction of Uber, Stocktonians can head downtown to a Port’s baseball game or out for a beverage on the Miracle Mile and not have to worry about battling for parking of having too much to drink.

“We’ve been interested in launching Stockton for a while now,” said spokesman Spencer Rinkus. “Uber is incredibly useful in large cities like San Francisco, Sacramento and Los Angeles, but what makes the app even more appealing is when you can request a ride literally everywhere you travel. We’re covering everywhere from Santa Cruz to Santa Rosa on the coast, and cities in the Central Valley are a big part of our plan to cover all of Northern California.”

Uber has three levels of car services, starting with UberBLACK and UberSUV, which are more premium services that cost more to use. But according to Rinkus, Stockton will start out only with the company’s UberX feature, which is a much more affordable ridesharing service that allows anyone with a car, a license and insurance (and passing a background check) the ability to turn their personal ride into a taxi. In return, the drivers get a chunk of the profit. Rinkus says that there is never any shortage of drivers in the cities they have launched in, and Stockton should be no different. As the market in Stockton progresses, Uber could expand service to include all three car types.

But Uber is not without its critics. In some cities such as Dallas and Washington, D.C., there has been backlash from cab companies complaining that private car services should be regulated. In Seattle, the city voted to put a cap on the number of Uber drivers on the road at any given time.

With Uber, Stocktonians can now use their smart phones to call a cab anywhere in the city. (c/o Uber)

With Uber, Stocktonians can now use their smart phones to call a cab anywhere in the city. (c/o Uber)

There have also been questions surrounding liability, as drivers are technically not actually Uber employees. But in Stockton, there is no real taxi service, and it’s hard to see the city levying any restrictions on an innovative company that wants to set up shop in town.

“We’ve already seen an incredible reception from people in Stockton,” said Rinkus. “we don’t imagine there will be regulatory battles that we’ve faced in other cities. ”

As Stockton and the Central Valley looks to market themselves to companies and workers as a viable extension of Silicon Valley, the arrival of a hugely popular service like Uber goes a long way. And anything that gives Stocktonians more mobility and transportation choice has to be applauded. Hopefully, residents take advantage of this new, innovative way to get around town. Uber is betting we will.

On-demand rides haven’t been an option in Stockton before,” said Rinkus. “We think once people get used to the concept it will really take off. We’re excited about the possibilities in Stockton, Modesto and all the other Central Valley cities.”



*The original article stated that there were “virtually no taxi services,” in Stockton. In reality, there are at least two licensed taxi services in the city: Yellow Cab/Stockton Service Cab and A A City Cabs Stockton.

Tags: , , ,

Categories: SCL Exclusives, Transportation

Author:David A. Garcia

David A. Garcia created SCL in March of 2012. Garcia is a Stockton native with a background in urban policy and planning, holding a Bachelor's Degree from UCLA as well as a Master's Degree in Public Policy from the Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies. He currently serves as the Policy Director at the UC Berkeley Terner Center for Housing Innovation. David was also COO at Ten Space, a real estate development firm focused exclusively on Downtown Stockton, and continues to advise on their projects. Prior to that, he worked three years as a researcher/analyst for a Congressional research agency in Washington, DC. The views expressed on this site are entirely of the author's

10 Comments on “Uber service debuts in Stockton”

  1. May 4, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

    You know this company reminds me of a company that tried to do this in the 80’s.
    It was called Fugazy limousine. Almost the same premiss with clients opening up accounts and drivers just having to pick up and deliver.

    But the problem came in driver’s actually making any money. They ended up driving to pay for the right to drive for a living and not earning enough after the Fugazy cut. Hence the saying “this sounds a little Fugazy to me ” with in a few years the company fell apart drivers went bankrupt the company went under but the. Higher ups made out like a bandit.

    I just hope that this techno company is not another Fugazy. It just really sounds to good to be true. Especially how they are backing the drivers with loans for the purchase of the cars. It just all sound too familiar. Don’t know about it look it up.

  2. May 4, 2014 at 1:05 pm #

    Reblogged this on Courtneycommercial's Blog and commented:
    This whole uber thing sounds so Fugazy to me. Here in NYC many moons ago in the 80’s was a company that came out with the same idea. Took the TLC here by storm. Private car service guys ran to sign up. I myself was almost one of them. I look I listened and realized once I sat down and did some math I would not earn a real living for myself for about 6 years. Longer than I would be aloud to keep there type of car on the road. That’s right they had the car from Chrysler specially designed for them you had to buy. And don’t worry they will help with financing as well.

    After about 3 or 4 years drivers started to realize what I realized at the presentation. You cannot make a real buck unless drive 20 hrs a day 7 days a week. Hello, that means some very cranky drivers not too mention the smell. Oh so true guys lost families and developed serious health issues because they were living in the car to pay for it. Try selling back and moving on was a night mere. You got nothing for the car and you had to pay the balance of the contractual loan agreement anyway.

    Cars started showing up for customers late drivers demanding payment in the car. Lawsuits started showing up and Mr. Fugazy takes a powder, the company folds and all anyone has is a Chrysler kcal limousine worth 4 bucks on the dollar if lucky. So guys joining Uber I say to you be wary and read in between the lines.

  3. November 18, 2014 at 6:48 pm #

    Lyft is also here in Stockton.

  4. Abies ikechiuku
    September 25, 2015 at 7:00 pm #

    Please how do I get a uber service

  5. Abies ikechiuku
    September 25, 2015 at 7:01 pm #

    I live close to Stockton

  6. Madeline
    January 22, 2016 at 8:08 am #

    I need UBER service , I live in Stockton , Ca. I would like to know the rates please .

  7. Doris Hale
    July 14, 2016 at 5:26 pm #

    Is there Uber service from Modesto to Stockton? Many commute and taking the bus is too expensive on a daily basis and if you have to be at work before 6 or even 7 – it no only is expensive to take the bus daily but you have to add time and money for the local city bus too after taking Greyhound —- Uber would be great for a regular ride to and from from workers – how expensive is Uber anyway and do they transport handicapped individuals – so taxis won’t lift a wheelchair for disabled people.

  8. Anthony M. Martinez
    July 27, 2016 at 3:53 pm #

    I need to know how is the Uber business in Stockton fare?……Is it profitable?….AMM

  9. Anthony M. Martinez
    July 27, 2016 at 4:49 pm #

    Any UBER drivers out there from Stockton, California!…Please give me a SHOUT OUT, OK?….Anthony

  10. Rocky Ramirez
    February 11, 2017 at 11:31 am #

    Sure there may have been taxi companies in Stockton before Uber, but in my experience it was always close to impossible to get one to show up for a ride. It always seemed like if you weren’t one of their regulars that they had been taking to the same grocery store for 30 years, they’d tell you there was nothing available.

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