Uber is going suburban.
The popular ride-hailing service announced Friday that it would move its area operations beyond Orleans Parish into Jefferson and St. Tammany parishes.
But unlike in Jefferson, where the parish attorney on Saturday announced an investigation into whether the company is operating there illegally, St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister rolled out the red carpet for Uber on Monday.
“The service allows our residents choices when they need alternative transportation options,” Brister said in a statement. “We welcome Uber as a member of the business community here in St. Tammany.”
Unlike on the south shore, the company will offer only its UberX and UberXL services north of Lake Pontchartrain. Its higher-end rides, UberBlack and UberSUV, won’t be available.
UberX will offer seating for up to four riders, while UberXL will have seating for up to six, according to a news release from the company.
It won’t be cheap to get a ride across the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway to the south shore. The estimated fare from Mandeville to downtown New Orleans is $60 on UberX, the news release says.
According to the company’s website, a ride in an UberX vehicle from Covington to New Orleans could cost between $68 and $90.
Fares for rides to and from Louis Armstrong International Airport will be calculated based on time and distance, unlike in New Orleans, where they are a flat fee.
The service will improve options in a parish with minimal public transportation and taxi services, Brister said.
Uber allows registered users to request a ride through a smartphone app. The company uses amateur drivers who operate their own vehicles. All drivers must pass background checks and driving history checks and are subject to ongoing quality controls, the news release said.
Follow Faimon A. Roberts III on Twitter, @faimon.