WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - It's official, Uber has turned the key and is now in Wichita Falls. The company went online Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. Wichita Falls leaders believe Uber will help the image of the city become more welcoming.
"My great great grandfather came here and built the first house made out of lumber," Texas State Senator, Craig Estes said. "Now here we are today, welcoming the very tech savvy company that's going to really help the people of Wichita Falls."
Wichita Falls Mayor Stephen Santellana, State Senator Estes, and Chamber of Commerce C.E.O Henry Florsheim took the first ride in the city. Uber Public Policy Manager, Chris Miller, said they have wanted to be in Wichita Falls for a long time.
"You have a football team at Midwestern State University, a great university, as well as the Air Force base," Miller said. "Not to mention the regional airport here is very desirable to be operating in."
Miller said this would not have been possible without House Bill 100, a bill State Senator Estes supported.
"It makes a lot of sense to have consistent rules over the entire state," State Senator Estes said. "That way someone that drives in Wichita Falls, if they go to Dallas for the weekend, can drive in Dallas."
Florsheim believes more options will help the city in their revitalization efforts, and trying to retain younger Wichitans.
"People like to use an app," Florsheim said. "They like to log in to a credit card once and never have to physically pay again. That's what a service like this does for us."
"The more opportunities we have to make decisions about our local transportation, the better," Florsheim added.
State Senator Estes said he uses Uber a lot when he's in Austin, but Tuesday's ride was his shortest and cheapest yet! He added that he hopes Wichita Falls residents embrace it. There's a promotion code that Uber has for first time Wichita Falls riders. If you simply put in "Wichita Falls" for the promo code, you can get $15 off your first ride.