The popular ride share app, Uber, officially launches in Erie on Friday at 5pm.


It's already used in 200 cities around world, including Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, York, Reading, and State College in Pennsylvania.


Now that Erie is joining the ranks, people are excited.


"I think Uber coming to Erie is a great movement forward in terms of technology and transportation here," said Michael Haas, an Erie native.


"I definitely think the idea of it is much better than having a taxi service," said Michael Judy, a Clarion resident and Gannon student.


"It's going to be really awesome. I've used it before with my cousin down in Pittsburgh and it's really convenient," said Luciano Caliguire, a Gannon Student from Pittsburgh.


The way it works: after a ride is requested, the app matches users up with a nearby driver. At the end of the ride, there's no tipping, and no need to worry about credit cards or cash - all payment goes right through the app.


For safety and convenience, the app shows the driver's name, phone number, and car model. And all drivers go through an extensive back ground check.


"We have the most comprehensive background checks in the industry," said Jennifer Krusius, the general manager of Uber in Central and Western PA.


Krusius said Uber doesn't give specific numbers, but as of Thursday evening, there are already "hundreds" of drivers who've signed up in Erie.


"We've seen a lot of interest in Erie and we're really excited to be able to launch there," she said. "Our rates are about 20% cheaper than taxis."


Many people say there is a demand for Uber in Erie.


"I think it's definitely a useful tool, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. It's a safe way for people to get home from bars," said Ryan Morris, a Gannon student.


"Every time I've had to get a cab, I've had to call in advance to make sure it's here. It's always kind of difficult to get a ride," said Emily Coll. "I guess this would be useful," she said.


"We live with our smart phones all the time, and there's absolutely a market in Erie. Probably a market that hasn't been tapped at all," Haas said.


Uber's launch also has Haas thinking about getting behind the wheel.


"I'm a student. I'm always looking to pick up a little extra money, so considering Uber and becoming a driver is definitely something I'm looking at," he said.


Uber is offering people who download the app before April 19th two free rides.