Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Local taxicabs welcome Uber challenge


Since its recent availability in Humboldt County, Uber has become an increasingly popular alternative to taking taxis. Although the San Francisco based company may provide some serious competition, the local cab companies don’t seem worried about it yet.

William Startare, 31, is a Eureka resident and the grandson of William Startare, who started City Cab Company. The Eureka based cab company is now owned by his uncles.

Startare is loyal to the family-owned company, but admits he uses both City Cab and Uber. He believes they both have their advantages. Startare says the Uber app is more user-friendly for younger people.

“It’s modern,” Startare said. “It’s the way we need information to be presented to us.”

One disadvantage to Uber, however, is it is not always available. On the other hand, Startare says City Cab might take longer, but they will always show up.

“Two days ago at 3:30 in the morning, I tried to get an Uber and there was none,” Startare said. “I called City Cab and they said 10 minutes.”

Jose Zaragoza, 34, was born in Mexico and has lived in Humboldt since he was six. Zaragoza has been driving for Uber for about seven months and is happy the service now exists in Humboldt.

With a wife, two children and a third on the way, Zaragoza says money from his primary job at Costco is not always enough. Driving for Uber helps him supplement his income without a time commitment.

“This is a job where you can pick your own hours,” Zaragoza said. “It brings extra income to the table. It helps.”

Zaragoza says lower rates, cleaner vehicles and the convenience of the app make Uber the better choice for customers.

“You can see where I am, where I’m going and how far I am from you,” Zaragoza said. “It’s all done with the simple touch of a button.”

Cedric Pearl, the owner of Plaza Cab, says Uber has not caused his company to take a hit financially so far. He believes the availability and consistency of rates make taxis a preferable choice for some customers.

“Their rates fluctuate based on demand,” Pearl said. “Our rates never change. You can call a taxi on New Year’s Eve and the price is the same as always.”

Another advantage of a taxi company is they are required to have commercial insurance, and drivers are required to undergo federal scan background checks and drug tests.

Despite some disadvantages Pearl sees with Uber, he is not opposed to people using the competition.

“Anything that keeps drunk drivers off the road is ok with me,” Pearl said.

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on reddit

More Stories

Women’s rugby returns to practice after long hiatus

By Jake Knoeller Cal Poly Humboldt has a women’s rugby team for the first time since 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic and some conflicts with the school kept them off the field for multiple years, but they are finally practicing again.

Noise, rage, and skateboards — RampArt releases compilation LP

By Nathan Sano Through the endless cloud of hairspray, denim and the occasional crop dusting lies a paradise for local skaters, punks and music lovers alike. For the rest of us, it’s something adjacent to a welcome fever dream.  This

Beloved student Camile Nauta dies at 21

By August Linton Camile Nauta, a beloved CPH student and community member, was hit by a truck and killed while out walking their dog Wilson with friend Rune Kubbany on Jan. 17. Wilson was also killed in the accident, and

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply