City of Dallas, Uber Team Up for DriveSouth Initiative

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The city of Dallas, Uber, Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas and several community groups announced on Wednesday the DriveSouth Initiative to sign up 2,500 new drivers in southern Dallas within the next 12 months.

The DriveSouth Initiative  supports Mayor Mike Rawlings’ GrowSouth Initiative, aimed at boosting the economic strength and mobility in southern Dallas.

UberRawlings, along with Uber Dallas General Manager Leandre Johns made the announcement at the Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas Southwest Workforce Center. A driver recruitment event was held at the center immediately after the announcement.

“Residents of southern Dallas deserve the same job opportunities and access to services as our citizens on the north side of town,” Rawlings said. “This initiative is yet another sign of the commitment from the private sector to GrowSouth.”

Johns said the program will benefit people who want to become Uber drivers in South Dallas, and the community itself.

“We are excited to work together with Mayor Rawlings and these dedicated community organizations to empower thousands of southern Dallas residents to make money on demand,” Johns said about the DriveSouth program. “With more drivers in southern Dallas, the residents will also have more access to reliable transportation. Our goal is to ensure the people in Southern Dallas have a seamless transportation experience.”

Other backers in attendance for the announcement included For Oakcliff, Urban League of Greater Dallas Young Professionals, Revitalize South Dallas Coalition, and the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce.

Wilton Munnings, president and CEO of the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce said the DriveSouth Initiative will provide an opportunity for entrepreneurship for South Dallas residents.

“With more drivers in southern Dallas, the residents will also have more access to reliable transportation. Our goal is to ensure the people in Southern Dallas have a seamless transportation experience.” _ Leandre Johns, GM of Uber Dallas.

“Work-on-demand like the kind Uber provides can be such a game-changer,” Munnings said. “This is an opportunity for these new drivers to begin their entrepreneurial quest. An extra couple hundred or a thousand bucks a month can be the difference for them to see their way to economic empowerment.”

Under the new initiative, the partners want to enlist drivers who live south of Interstate 30 to become Uber drivers.

“The South Dallas/Fair Park area has a 50 percent unemployment rate, contains less than 5 percent of all jobs in North Texas, and 59 percent of our residents do not own a car,” said Ken Smith, president of Revitalize South Dallas Coalition. “Uber’s efforts to establish thousands of small, community-based businesses through this driver recruitment campaign is exactly what our community needs.”

San Francisco-based Uber is a technology company whose app connects people needing a ride with a driver who will take them to a location for a predetermined fee. It said it would host a series of sign-up events to “educate southern Dallas residents on how to become a driver on the Uber platform.”

The GrowSouth Initiative was announced in 2012, and since then it has enlisted prominent Dallas individuals and businesses to boost the economy in the city’s southern sector, which generally is bordered by Interstate 30 on the north, White Rock Creek to the East and the Trinity River to the west and south.

The area includes the Dallas Zoo and Fair Park.

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