Uber, city prepare for Super Bowl rush

HOUSTON - The work to safely get you to and from the Super Bowl, and all of its activities, started months ago.

In driver Amanda Louchart's case, her preparation started New Year's Eve.

"I'm glad I started now and started working the nerves out of driving people," Louchart said.

Louchart is one of Houston's Uber drivers, who are expected to give hundreds of thousands of rides to an estimated 1 million visitors and locals during the Super Bowl.

The city and the Super Bowl Host Committee partnered with Uber to make sure that it would be around to offer another transportation option during the big event.

Managers identified the pickup hotspots, places like the Galleria, midtown, NRG Stadium area and the airports.

"We are using our technology and dates from large events we've hosted in Houston, like the Final Four, as well as cities all over the world to make sure that we can use the app and the technology to allow drivers to know where it's going to be busy before it's busy," Uber General Manager Sarfraz Maredia said.

Uber believes that many people will come to town without a car, and many will rely on their ridesharing app.

While many drivers will be from Houston, some will be from other parts of the state.

"If they've already gone through our process, they have to go through the city's process and we're helping them do that," Maredia said.

The city and Uber have streamlined the time and cost it takes to become an Uber driver. City licensing that once took weeks now can take as little as a day.

"If they don't have tickets to the game, they will be going out to places to watch the game. So I expect it to be extremely busy and fun," Louchart said.

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