Palmerston North is one of seven cities to launch the Uber app today.

At 3pm the Uber app goes live in Palmerston North, Napier, Hastings, New Plymouth, Rotorua and Nelson.

Uber country manager Amanda Gilmore said there were drivers ready to respond when the app turns on at 3pm.

May was Uber's fifth year operating in New Zealand, she said.


Gilmore said Uber became available where there was an appetite for rides.

"We see where the Uber app has been opened by locals or tourists.

"Our goal is transport options to complement what is available."

The reforms by NZTA and the Ministry of Transport in 2017 had levelled the playing field for taxis and rideshare, Gilmore said.

Taxis and rideshare required passenger endorsement and a certificate of fitness vehicle.

"Uber drivers were vetted by the NZTA which looked at their criminal history and carried out a proper assessment," Gilmore said. "Uber has a minimum threshold rating of drivers and set of standards for our drivers."