On March 7, 2017, Uber Canada opened its new Mississauga Greenlight Hub. The modern 10,000 sq. ft. facility at 1980 Matheson Blvd is designated to work with drivers mainly – it will provide support to existing driver-partners and help new driver-partners start working with Uber.
On the official opening day, all the facility’s employees were on the floor and it became evident that Uber has just contributed to the solving of the youth unemployment problem, which is still persisting in the GTA, – the facility is staffed by 20 primarily young residents of Mississauga who now have quality jobs providing day-to-day assistance to local driver-partners. Uber’s Ontario General Manager, Sheldon McCormick, himself seemingly in his 30-s, cut the ribbon, explained the nature of Uber’s business and presented some of Uber’s top driver-partners from Mississauga.
Uber is an application that allows one to hail a ride by just pressing the icon on their smartphone. Uber’s simplicity, reliability and affordability has created a whole new and numerous class of people who had never or rarely before used taxis, but now increasingly use this ride-sharing service. By our own estimates, a ride with Uber in Toronto could be up to 50% cheaper than a comparable taxi ride.
The emergence of the abundant class of Uber-users has created ample job opportunities for drivers who have at least some time on their hands and the need to make more money. Sheldon McCormick explained that Uber has three locations across the GTA, including the one on Matheson Blvd in Mississauga, where potential drivers can come in and speak with Uber’s staff. He said: “From the driver perspective the great thing about Uber as an economic opportunity is that you have full flexibility over your schedule. If you want part-time hours, you can do that. If you want to work on a one-hour-a-week platform, you can do that. And, of course, if you want to work 50 hours a week, you can do that. Many of our drivers tell us that it’s the flexibility of the job that they like so much.”
Those Ukrainian Canadians who have come to Canada recently may find the opportunities, which Uber provides for drivers, quite useful – Uber welcomes newcomers. Working as an Uber driver provides a chance to get to know the city and get an opportunity to earn a good income on a flexible basis that meets the schedule of someone who is looking for a job in a different industry.
According to Sheldon McCormick, Uber in the GTA currently has over 25,000 active drivers. Uber’s promise thus comes as a no surprise that when you push a button, you will get a ride anywhere in the GTA in less than five minutes. Because of this convenience, said Sheldon McCormick, Uber “is growing the pie for transportation services overall and many different services in the city are benefiting as a result of that. People are using Uber to get to a GO station and then they take a GO bus or a GO train for the rest of their way, or they take Uber one way and public transit the next way, or they might leave their car at home and take Uber for a trip.”
Uber’s popularity is growing and it needs more drivers. Sheldon McCormick said that currently over a half million people are using the service in Toronto alone and that he believed there is still “a tremendous amount of growth in the communities in which Uber serves.” At this point, the company is active in over 40 municipalities across Ontario. To become an Uber driver-partner, one needs to meet the company’s criteria and pass through its screening.