Birmingham supporters of Uber, Lyft start Facebook, GoFundMe accounts

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A Facebook page supporting Uber and Lyft came online Tuesday and as of 3:20 p.m. Wednesday already had 2,143 supporters.

A GoFundMe account which indicates it was created by Bill Smith, the CEO of Shipt, has raised $1,940 toward a $10,000 goal. Organizers describe themselves and their goal on the page saying:

We are a group of Birmingham citizens and businesses that are standing up for the transportation options that we deserve.

Ride sharing is a necessity to create a vibrant city that attracts visitors and businesses … it’s not just a “nice” to have anymore. People that visit Birmingham expect to just open the Uber or Lyft app and get a ride on demand. When visitors realize these services aren’t available, it makes them think very negatively about our city.

For Birmingham residents, ride sharing offers a safe option to get around when enjoying the awesome restaurants and bars around town.

With 750 million dollars being invested downtown to build six new hotels and thousands of apartments, now is the time to bring ride sharing to Birmingham!

Funds raised will directly support these efforts. Efforts include lobbying, PR, and marketing.

Rep. Jack Williams sponsored legislation supporting ride sharing this past session. When asked about the organic movement he said, “I am glad to see continued public interest and support for bringing ride sharing to Alabama. I am asked about ‘when will Uber or Lyft come to Alabama?’ multiple times per week.”

When asked about the page, a spokesperson for Uber said, “Uber is not affiliated with this group.”

UPDATE: The GoFundMe page has been updated to reflect today’s news the Birmingham City Council has passed an ordinance provisionally approving ridesharing to operate in the Magic City.

Writes page creator Bill Smith:

I am super excited to announce the Birmingham City Council just passed a new Transportation Network ordinance that will allow Uber to begin operations. This is a major step forward for our city. There is a 6 month review period, I feel confident that there won’t be a problem moving forward after the review period.

Uber hasn’t announced a launch date yet, as soon as they do I’ll let you know. When they do launch, let’s all make sure to use the service as much as possible.

Thank you for supporting this effort!

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