Wyomingites will have a reason to install the Uber app on their smartphones later this evening.

The ridesharing company is expected to begin operations in Wyoming for the first time at 5 p.m. Friday after Governor Matt Mead signs a bill legalizing such businesses at 2 p.m.

Uber says in a press release the company has been actively communicating with potential driver-partners in Casper, Cheyenne, Jackson, Gillette, Laramie, Rock Springs and Sheridan. The service will be available statewide.

"We're thrilled to be rolling out in Wyoming," said Franz Schreiner, territory manager for Uber. "If people aren't yet familiar with the app, I think they'll find it reliable, convenient and easy to use. Essentially you push a button and get a ride."

The company's first weekend of operation in Wyoming will see discounts offered to all riders. Any trip worth up to $20 will be available for just $5 from 7 p.m. Friday to 12 a.m. Monday.

First-time riders will also be able to get $15 off their first ride by using the in-app promotional code "ridewyoming." That promotion is valid through 2020.

"I am very pleased that ridesharing will be available in the state," says Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr. "I'm a big fan of Uber, having used it frequently during visits to LA when my husband was managing editor at the LA Times."

"Ridesharing has become an expected amenity with visitors, and I am sure our guests throughout the year -- and especially during Cheyenne Frontier Days -- will appreciate having access to services like Uber."

The company will host public launch celebrations in Cheyenne and Jackson on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

Uber is an app that connects people who need a ride with folks looking to earn money by driving. Founded in 2009, the company operates in more than 500 cities and 70 countries around the world.

The easiest way for riders to determine if there are Uber drivers nearby is to simply open the Uber app and see if cars are available. The app is available for iOS and Android.

People interested in driving for Uber can find directions at uber.com/drive.

Uber also offers those who shouldn't be behind the wheel a safe way home.

"Uber is another safe ride home for people who have consumed too much alcohol or find themselves too impaired to drive," said Debbie Taylor, a spokesperson for MADD Wyoming.

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