One of the biggest innovations of the new-teen’s decade has been the creation of Uber, a ride sharing service that pays qualified citizens to act as a driver for those that need a lift from one place to another. Representative Derek Kilmer met with a group of drivers with a military background to understand the effects the service has on the county, and the people that populate it.
Kilmer, an experienced Uber user, spoke to the drivers about their experience with the company in an informal round-table discussion on Oct. 13 at the STAR Center, to not only give Kilmer a view of how the service works, but give him a view of how he could support the burgeoning business model in congress.
“It was interesting to hear the number of people who have a military background who have now pursued this as an economic opportunity. The other real takeaway is to the extent in which the flexibility of hours is alluring for people who are looking to drive Uber, for me, those are the two biggest takeaways,” Kilmer said.
The group of six drivers who live in the Pierce County area spoke to Kilmer about what he could do to help out drivers in the area, including getting business licenses for multiple cities, and easier access to military bases. While answers to these problems are far from guaranteed, Kilmer took the time to listen and promised to look into it.
For the drivers part, they all had a story, most having to do with how Uber either supplements income from a primary job, or has become the sole source of income for the family. The flexibility of the hours allowing them to work as much as they need to.
“Whether they intended it to be or not, It has become a stop gap for all the people who have been displaced by loss of job, or are unable to get a job with their degree. Illness, injury, it doesn’t matter what. Rather than being a drain on the economy, they can contribute to it through this,“ driver Laura Kittel said.
In all the conversation, allowed Uber drivers to both communicate with one another about the service in the Pierce County area, as well as communicate with Kilmer about how the relatively new service is working legislatively.
For more information on representative Derek Kilmer, visit www.derekkilmer.com, and for more information on Uber, visit www.Uber.com.