Uber is recruiting college kids to be drivers. The ride share company is casting itself as the “perfect part-time solution” for college students, particularly in Los Angeles, according to a recent post on Uber’s Newsroom blog.
Describing Los Angeles as a “tough job market,” Uber states that being one of its drivers works for part-time work during college semesters and as an alternative to more traditional full-time summer jobs. Compared to working in retail or in restaurants, Uber touts the flexibility and freedom of being an Uber driver.
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Scheduling flexibility is a big part of the appeal of driving for Uber for anyone, but particularly for college students, according to the company. As an example, the post states, “If you’re a student at UCLA, you may have back-to-back classes in the morning, followed by a three-hour break, then a class in mid-afternoon on Mondays and Wednesdays. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, you could have a mid-morning class, a late-afternoon lab, and an early-evening study group. It might be difficult to schedule a part-time job around such a schedule, but with Uber, you can take those gaps and turn them into money-earning opportunities.”
Driving for Uber also works with the “ebbs and flows of a college year.” During midterms and finals, the company says scaling back or cutting hours gives students time to focus on studies. When “obligations are light,” then students can drive more hours.
The company said that Uber drivers in the Los Angeles metro area do well. It says the minimum fare is $5.15 with $0.90 per mile and $0.15 per minute charges. Particularly important in L.A., Uber says, drivers who are fluent in Spanish can get more trips by using the UberEspañol app.
To drive in L.A. students must be at least 21 and will need a valid California driver’s license with a minimum of three years’ driving experience. Uber will do a background check and drivers must have a clean driving record. An Uber vehicle must have four doors, hold at least four passengers and be registered and insured in California. The company also mentions relationships with rental and leasing companies who can help potential drivers get a car to drive for Uber.
Whether driving for Uber while going to college makes sense on an individual basis is, well, an individual decision. Clearly, Uber thinks it’s a great idea.