Uber Releases Quarterly Magazine For Drivers
Now that it’s valued at $41 billion for its ambitious plan to transform transportation, Uber has decided that the future of its business is…print?
Yesterday, Uber launched a print magazine aimed specifically at its drivers. Dubbed Momentum, the planned quarterly is rolling out in several markets across the country. The first issue includes features on staying healthy behind the wheel, news on Uber’s regulatory victories, and—the perennial concern for drivers—tips on where to find bathrooms around the clock.
The publication plays a curious role given Uber’s unusual relationship with its 150,000 drivers. It’s part employee handbook—except, of course, Uber drivers are not Uber employees. And it’s part marketing, because just as Uber has to convince passengers it’s the best app for getting a ride, it has to convince drivers it’s the best app for giving one. To keep the rides coming, Uber has to keep drivers happy.
As it grows and tries to put out the various legal fires ignited along the way, Uber hasn’t done much to assuage the specific concerns of disgruntled members of its workforce. Its new magazine represents a (very) modest attempt at better catering to its drivers’ needs, though it won’t have nearly the same weight as an overhaul of its rating system or a bump in pay.
Uber appears to recognize that it won’t be able to generate the returns its backers expect if its reputation suffers among its most vital constituents: its own drivers. To that end, the first issue of Momentum includes a interview with one of Uber’s longest-serving drivers, who has more than 20,000 trips under his belt in and around San Francisco.