Updated: Sep 22, 2021
In recent weeks social media has been bombarded with complaints over waiting times and ride costs from ride-hailing app Uber.
TaxiPoint has recently covered a number of incidents where either passengers have complained over the increased cost of fares around the UK, or have stressed their concerns over the longer waiting times for a vehicle to arrive, or even in some cases where passengers were unable to get a car at all.
Reaching out to the company, TaxiPoint were able to hear from the firm’s General Manger for Northern Ireland and Eastern Europe, Jamie Heywood, to see if Uber were aware of the issues and how they were tackling the problem.
Mr Heywood said: “There has been a huge spike in people taking Ubers since the end of lockdown, and in many cities we are now seeing demand 20-40% higher than it was before the pandemic.
“This does mean that at the moment some riders are waiting a little longer in busy areas at peak times, although 65% of cars still arrive in less than 5 minutes and 91% arrive in less than 10 minutes. I am confident this is a temporary issue which will be addressed as more drivers sign up with us.
“There are around 70,000 drivers working on the app today in the UK, which is similar to the number before the pandemic. But due to the high demand we're seeing, we are actively recruiting 20,000 more drivers to help get the service back to normal. I am very confident that driving with Uber is a compelling proposition, compared to Bolt and other ride hailing apps.
“This is because only Uber drivers have worker rights such as holiday pay, a pension and are guaranteed to earn at least National Living Wage. No one else provides these rights for their drivers. If other apps don’t make these positive changes, then I think Uber will have a strategic advantage in signing up new drivers, which is how we address the current challenges.”