Mike the Mailman Takes First State College Uber Ride
Though Uber will officially debut in State College tomorrow, one of Penn State’s most beloved figures got the first ride this afternoon. Mike the Mailman, the venerable campus icon and overlord of the post office, closed up for his 11 a.m. lunch hour like he does every weekday. He borrowed a smartphone with the ride sharing app pre-loaded ready to call the car, and asked us, “How do I do that? I’m not good with these phones.”
The requested car made it past Pollock Road’s notorious guard stands and pulled up to the post office, ready to take Mike wherever he wanted to go. “Oh wow, that was so easy!” he exclaimed as he climbed into the car, inviting me to ride along with him. The driver told Mike he would take him wherever he pleased, to which he quipped, “Have you ever been to Detroit? It’s a nice place. Let’s go there.” Eventually, he settled on the perfect location, directing the vehicle to the Lion Shrine.
He spoke on a conversation he had with his wife about Uber’s arrival in State College, where she was worried he’d upset the taxi drivers. “I think it’ll help,” he said. “My daughter said, ‘Dad it’s so difficult to get a taxi in town.’ I think it’ll help.”
As we got back in the car and circled back to the post office, he told stories about his yearly bar tour and his adventures across the state, including accidentally ending up in a 5K race. “Thank you for taking time out of your lunch break to do this,” the Uber representatives said, excited about bringing their service to the place they both spent their college years. “My life is a break. I’m calm, I’m cool,” Mike responded, thanking everyone involved before going back to work.
Uber launches for everyone in State College tomorrow.
Update (5:30 p.m.): Uber announced today that the app will go live and rides will be available starting at 5 p.m. on Friday. To celebrate the ride-sharing service’s arrival in State College, both new and existing users will get their first two rides for free (up to $25 each). Uber also provided some sample prices/fares. They project that McClanahan’s to Beaver Stadium would run $7.35, Canyon to Nittany Crossing would cost $9.25, and downtown to the airport would be priced at $16.20.