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The mobile application-based ride-share company, which already operates in Fargo, announced its expansion to Bismarck and Grand Forks, starting at noon today.

Uber has become Bismarck's second ride-sharing service in as many weeks.

The mobile application-based ride-share company, which already operates in Fargo, announced its expansion to Bismarck and Grand Forks, starting at noon today, along with adding service to a number of other Midwest cities. The announcement comes on the heels of Lyft, the nation's second-largest mobile ride-share company, starting operations in Bismarck, Fargo and Grand Forks last week.

“We know North Dakota has been calling out for ridesharing, and we’re honored to have the opportunity to launch Uber in two more cities across the state," said Carrol Chang, general manager of Uber in North Dakota.

Chang said there will only be a few Uber-certified drivers to start but she expects more and more in the coming weeks as word spreads.

Uber has had its eye on the Bismarck market for some time and support from state leaders encouraged the company to make its move, according to Chang.

Both uberX, as well as uberXL, an option for larger parties up to six passengers, will be available in Bismarck and Grand Forks.

“It’s always exciting when a game-changing business decides to expand in North Dakota. I know from experience in Fargo and other great cities the benefits that ridesharing can bring to the state, not only in terms of convenience but also reduced transportation expenses and demand for parking. This is a great example of how innovation can lower costs and change how we design and build smart, efficient cities, and we look forward to seeing the new ways in which ridesharing can further improve and connect our communities,” Gov. Doug Burgum said in a statement.

Users can download the free Uber app for iOS, Android or Windows phone, create an account and add payment information. When needing a ride, they enter a destination and send a request. The app will provide information including the driver's name and picture, a picture of the vehicle, make, model and license plate number. Users also can watch the driver travel on the app's interactive map, as well as text or call the driver through the app.

Upon arrival at a destination, the cost of a trip will be charged automatically to the payment method on file.

For more information, go online to www.uber.com/drive/.

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Reach Jessica Holdman at 701-250-8261 or jessica.holdman@bismarcktribune.com

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