ASCENSION PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Uber is getting ready to hire new drivers and offer Ascension Parish residents quicker access to its ride-sharing services.
Local bars and restaurants are getting ready for Uber's arrival. Park Place is not open for business until 3 p.m, but Jenny Davis, who is a manager at the bar, and her staff must get ready for their rush of regulars.
Davis said bartenders pay close attention to customers who may have had too much to drink. But with no type of taxi service in Ascension Parish, she said helping them get a ride home can sometimes be tricky.
"We actually did have an Uber driver come and service some of the customers here and help them get home safe," Davis said.
Patrons won't have to look far anymore. The signs are already posted at Park Place, and Ascension Parish President Kenny Matassa said soon Uber will have drivers spread across the parish.
"The Uber thing is to help people get from point A to B and also people say 'I'm going to a party tonight and I want a few cocktails so I am going to get Uber to come pick me up,'" Matassa said.
Matassa said he and the sheriff plan to meet with local restaurant and bar owners to come up with a plan to raise awareness about Uber. He said their main objective is to lower the DWI rate.
"When East Baton Rouge did Uber it lowered the rate almost 20 percent to 18 percent. So if we can lower to 20 percent, that's good," Matassa said.
Davis said Park Place and other local bars only stand to gain from the new ride-sharing service. She expects to see more people rounding the bar.
"I think it's a great opportunity for the community. It offers customers, bars and restaurants a safe way home if they need it," Davis said.
Uber officially hits the streets of Ascension Parish on June 15.