Thursday, 03 December 2015 11:11

Uber boasts of economically empowering 20,000 Australians

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Uber says ‘no one could have imagined how the simple act of sharing a ride could be such a powerful economic engine’ when ridesharing launched locally in 2014.

Uber’s Senior Communications Executive in Australia, Caspar Nixon, has issued a blog post at the Uber newsroom celebrating ‘empowering 20,000 Australians with the opportunity to access extra work whenever they want, and extra money whenever they need it.’

Nixon notes that ‘this comes less than a year after our Chief Advisor, David Plouffe, announced that Uber was committed to partnering with governments around Australia to create 20,000 new economic opportunities in 2015.

Uber says that ‘ridesharing is offering people a new way to work, on their terms, and in doing so boosting the incomes of thousands of Australian families who need it most.’

Here’s an infographic that Uber has published - the story continues below.

Nixon explains that “people are choosing Uber because it offers them the kind of work they want: work that provides a good income with the autonomy, flexibility, and dignity that comes with being their own boss.”

The explanation continues:

“This new way of working is important. Most driver-partners are not making a decision to do this for a lifetime or even for a long time. They are sharing rides because they choose when they drive, where they drive, and for how long. They set their own schedule hour by hour, day by day, and week by week.

“For most people, driving on Uber is not even a part-time job. It’s just driving an hour or two a day, here or there, to help pay the bills. That means you’re more likely to find someone who drives 10 hours one week and zero hours the next week than someone who works every Tuesday and Wednesday from 5 to 10 pm.

“This new way of working is helping partners like Debra study full-time to become a nurse and provide for her son, simply by sharing rides a few hours a week.”

Uber quotes one of its driver-partners, Debra in Brisbane, stating: “As a single mum studying full-time, ridesharing gave me the flexibility and financial empowerment to provide for our family, study full time and still spend quality time with my son.

“I’m own boss with Uber, ensuring I never feel like I have to work if I need to spend valuable time with my son or on my studies.”

More below, please read on!

Another driver-partner of Uber’s is ‘Victor in Sydney’, who said: “I work part time as a primary school teacher, so partnering with Uber helps me to fill the financial gaps when I don’t have a lot of teaching work, especially in the school holidays when there is no income for a casual teacher.

“Partnering with Uber has given me the flexibility to work around both my career and social life, and earn some extra money to give me a better life.”

Then there’s Uber talking up ridesharing ‘supporting economic opportunity.’

Nixon says: “While the number of people choosing ridesharing continues to increase, with more than 1.5 million riders in Australia, the opportunity to enshrine the right of 20,000 Australians to economically empower themselves hangs in the balance.

“As state governments across the country begin to follow the ACT’s lead and introduce ridesharing regulations, it is critical that the right to access flexible work, on your own terms, is not restricted by prohibitive and arbitrary regulation, including excessive licence fees that are more than the basic cost of administration.

“With a third of our driver-partners saying a licence fee over $250 would have prevented them from being able to join the platform or impacted their ability to pay other bills if this was a requirement, we’re calling on all state governments to introduce sensible, safety based ridesharing regulations, without prohibitive and discriminatory financial and administrative burdens.

“In an era of stagnant wages and rising cost of living, ridesharing gives people an opportunity to earn additional income, bridge gaps in work, and provide for their family, all with the flexibility to work when, where and how they want.

“In 2015, opening up these types of economic opportunities for all Australians is something every government needs to get behind and support.”

The original blog post is here. 


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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