NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Uber launched its controversial ride-hailing service, UberX, in New Orleans on Thursday, one day after Mayor Mitch Landrieu signed off on a set of new laws regulating an industry that some critics describe as unfair competition.
Uber executive Tom Hayes announced that musician Kermit Ruffins was "Rider Zero" in New Orleans.
Uber's luxury service, Uber Black, has been operating in New Orleans since September.
UberX can't pick up people at Louis Armstrong International Airport, although the company said in its announcement that it was working to add that service in the future.
For-hire vehicles picking up at the airport fall under a different set of regulations.
Uber and its competing ride-hailing companies have expressed concerns about operating under some of the restrictions approved last week by the New Orleans City Council.
Meanwhile, some leaders of the New Orleans taxicab industry continue to complain that UberX drivers do not face the same rigorous licensing procedures currently required of cab drivers.