UberX says it will recruit 2,000 new drivers in the first year after local regulators permit the company and other smart-phone-based ride services to operate in St. Louis.
To spread the word and garner support, Uber has teamed up with St. Louis branch of the NAACP, the St. Louis Agency of Training and Employment (SLATE) and the employment initiative Ferguson 1000.
The collaboration is part of the company’s commitment to increase local employment opportunities, said Sagar Shaw, regional general manager.
“We expect to recruit 2,000 new driver partners on the Uber platform in just the first year alone once we’re able to operate in St. Louis. Those are 2,000 opportunities to earn money, where you can be your own boss and create your own schedule and have your own flexibility.”
Uber hosted a driver recruitment event in the Central West End Tuesday morning. During a press conference before that, St. Louis' NAACP Vice President Cedric Clarkson said minority neighborhoods are underserved by traditional taxis and would benefit from the service and employment opportunities.
“St. Louis is the largest metropolitan area without ride-sharing in America and that has to change. Two thousand job opportunities are knocking. Let’s open the door.”
The St. Louis Metropolitan Taxicab Commission (MTC) has balked at allowing the service without safeguards, such as criminal background checks and drug tests for drivers. The commission is scheduled to meet July 29 to consider changing its regulations to allow the service.
St. Louis already has the company’s luxury Uber Black service, which allows customers to hail rides with registered and insured livery vehicles. UberX allows drivers to use their personal vehicles.
The service is permitted in St. Charles County and the Metro East.