CHICAGO — Uber Chicago was set to announce Friday that it is more than halfway to its goal of hiring 10,000 new drivers from the South and West Sides.
The company announced in June its push to bring on more drivers from those parts of the city.
On Friday, the company was to join the Chicago Urban League to announce that more than 5,000 drivers have started driving with Uber.
“Chicago’s economic future depends on more people having access to economic opportunity,” Shari Runner, interim president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League said. “We’re glad to see innovative new businesses like Uber are not just making lives easier through technology, but also empowering Chicagoans to earn money on their own time in their own neighborhood.”
Uber gives South and West Side residents the opportunity to have flexible hours and allows them to be their own boss, the company said. Drivers choose their own hours.
More than 50 driver recruitment events have been held over the last several months in neighborhoods such as Chatham, Auburn Gresham, Austin and Garfield Park.
Uber has connected with the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership and other local organizations in those neighborhoods. Drivers have also been recruited at community forums, street festivals and parades.
“We are so excited to be making progress and recruiting more drivers from our communities,” said Ebonee Green, who leads Uber's driver efforts on Chicago's South and West sides. “In order to make transportation as reliable in the neighborhoods as it is Downtown, we’ll need more and more drivers from the neighborhoods.”
Currently, Uber is completing more than 2 million trips per month in Chicago. More than half of all uberX trips begin or end in a neighborhood that’s underserved by taxis, said company officials.
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