- Associated Press - Monday, February 16, 2015

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - The ride-booking service Uber has expanded in Illinois to Champaign-Urbana, Bloomington-Normal, Rockford and Aurora in addition to its Chicago and Springfield operations.

Gov. Bruce Rauner attended the Sunday launch in Champaign along with Uber’s Illinois general manager Chris Taylor.

“I look forward to doing everything I can as governor to make sure that Illinois is welcoming to your company and innovative high-tech companies like yours from all over America,” Rauner told Taylor at the University of Illinois Research Park. “I want this business park, I want the community and the tech sector booming in Champaign-Urbana the next four years.”

Riders find drivers via Uber’s smartphone app. Taylor said more than 8,000 users opened the Uber app in the Champaign-Urbana area last week. In Rockford, Mayor Larry Morrisey was Uber’s first rider. Taylor visited Rockford in November to discuss expansion with Morrisey and other city leaders.

Taylor said Uber drivers are subject to background checks. Recently in Chicago an Uber driver was charged with sexually assaulting a passenger.



“All I would say to potential rides out there is that we are bringing new tech and new innovation to make sure that our rides are as safe as possible,” Taylor said.

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