Taxi drivers have protested such app-based car dispatch services in Los Angeles and Seattle, while cabbies in San Francisco decried efforts to electronically track drivers.
A little more than one in 10 respondents, 13 percent, say they have used an app to request Uber or something similar, according to the poll. These app-based services are most popular with wealthier, younger Washingtonians, two groups that also tended to be likely to ride regular cabs more often than most other people.
Rachel Holt, general manager of Uber in the District, said using smartphones to summon and pay for transportation is only going to become more common.
“It saves customers time, it saves drivers time, and it’s convenient,” she said.
Riders who had used Uber praised the ability to manage the entire trip with their phone.
“I love just having all my information in there and pressing a button and you’re good to go,” said Melissa Gervasio of Arlington County. “It makes things a lot easier.”
She said that some of her friends used Uber to get home from her wedding in April.
“It was a guaranteed way to get home,” said Gervasio, 28. “It was easy for them to press a button and get home with them and their dates.”
And while electronically hailing cabs remains relatively new, Linton said going forward some form of it will become the norm.
“I think a few years from now, it’ll look really funny to see someone on a sidewalk waving their arm in the air trying to hail a taxi,” he said.
The Post poll was conducted June 19-23 among a random sample of 1,106 adult residents of the Washington metropolitan area. Overall results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
Craighill is polling manager of Capital insight, the independent polling group of Washington Post Media. Capital Insight pollsters Jon Cohen and Scott Clement contributed to this report.