Uber has started offering its ride sharing service in Austin, TX. Within the Austin city limits there is still some questions weather it is totally legal or not, so Uber is offering the service for free for 2 weeks to any passenger. Just use promo code ATXFREE or text to 827-222 to get 20 free rides. The service is about half the cost of a taxi and they use regular people as drivers. Background checks are done on the drivers and payments are all electronic, so cash is never exchanged.
I signed up as a driver. I may never use it, but it would be nice to be allowed, in-case I'm bored and want to make a few bucks. After you complete the application form and submit images of your license, insurance, registration and car, you just wait for a back ground check to be completed and you can start. The Uber staff came to Austin for a couple of days to hand deliver the gear. They give you an iPhone4 with the driver app installed, a USB charging cable, cigarette lighter charger, phone holder and air freshener.