Why do people drive for Uber? An obvious, surface-level answer is “for the money.” However, as this NPR story suggests, People’s Uber, which operates in China, attracts drivers for other reasons.
The correspondent says his interviews with Uber drivers have revealed that many drive to ameliorate the impersonal feelings of living in a huge, sprawling city like Shanghai. One driver tells a poignant story of how her passengers helped get her through a divorce and a diagnosis of breast cancer. “Sometimes customers help us,” she said, “other times we help customers.”
Another driver quit his job as an engineer because he worried that his work was numbing him to the thrill of living. “Our jobs are like tepid water. After a while we don’t want to jump out.”
What a great insight for Uber (and other ride-sharing services) to have as they seek to recruit drivers – and passengers.