Jackson County

Ocean Springs wants to party for Uber, recruit drivers

OCEAN SPRINGS -- Mayor Connie Moran has contacted Uber, and she told aldermen Tuesday night the ride-hailing company wants to be in operation by July 1.

She said the company wants to have a party in the city to recruit drivers, and she told aldermen she'd like the city to host it.

Moran said Uber plans to handle the Gulf Coast operation out of New Orleans at first, and it would like to be fully functional by July 1, when the new state law goes into effect.

She reminded potential drivers Uber has rules:

-- No cars older than 10 years

-- Four-door vehicles required

-- No moving violations in the past three years

-- Have your own auto insurance, but company provides up to $1 million in coverage

The issue came up when the city discussed clarifying its taxi ordinance to comply with the new state law.

The board was receptive.

Alderman Greg Denyer related his recent Uber experience in Greenwich, Conn.

He said they hailed a driver and for four riders to go the equivalent of from Ocean Springs to Gautier cost $12.

"Twelve dollars," he said. "And he wouldn't take a tip. You can't get a cup of coffee in Greenwich for $12."

Alderman John Gill said a cab from his house to the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino cost him $22.