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Development & Transportation

Uber Seeks 1,000 New Pittsburgh Drivers

Ride-sharing magnate Uber wants to add 1,000 new drivers in Pittsburgh in the next 12 months as part of a larger effort to attract 50,000 new drivers in east coast cities.

Dubbed UberUP, or Urban Partnership, officials hope to reach into more diverse neighborhoods for new drivers and passengers. 

“We’re working with those organizations to understand what is the local community need in each of the different neighborhoods in Pittsburgh,” Uber Pittsburgh General Manager Jennifer Krusis said.

Uber plans to hold a series of “skill building” workshops throughout the city, but only after learning about the individual neighborhoods.

“How can we provide the right resources to riders and drivers to make sure that we are doing the right skill building workshops to help people get the skills they need to be successful?” Krusis said.

Uber is working with a two-year license for experimental service from the PUC. Pennsylvania has some of the tightest rules and laws when it comes to providing transportation for hire. Krusis said she does not think that will be a hurdle in finding qualified drivers.

"We’ve worked hand in hand with the PUC," she said. "They have some safety requirements, some background check requirements, which we are fully on board with."

The PUC also requires that ride sharing drivers own their own cars and that the cars be 2007 or newer.  Krusis said the company is looking into the possibility of providing financing for drivers who need to upgrade their vehicles.

Yellow Cab recently received approval to operate its own peer-to-peer ride-sharing program. Yellow X drivers will be able to grab fares from a mobile app much like Uber’s but also have access to overflow calls from the more traditional Yellow Cab Company.