An Uber Issue: Ride Sharing Service Faces Understaffing Issues
Uber, the ride-sharing app that connects drivers and riders, made its State College debut last week. Uber says the launch was successful, but customers have been facing long wait times since it kicked off last Friday. The delays were caused by higher-than-expected demand for the service and an understaffing of drivers.
“There was definitely more demand than we had supply on the road for,” said Uber Spokesperson Jennifer Krusius.
The high demand is partially attributed to an Uber’s promotional offer that gives State College users their first two Uber rides for free up until Feb. 16. Though Krusius could not give exact data as to how many State College residents used the service, she did say that the number ranged in the thousands over the weekend.
At times this past weekend, especially Friday and Saturday nights, no cars were available for hopeful passengers.
Uber is unsure if the demand for the service will decline following the end of the promotion, which makes it difficult to determine how many drivers State College will need.
Understaffing of drivers is common in new Uber markets, because the company can’t pinpoint the exact amount of supply and demand for a particular market, said Krusius.
“Particularly when we launch new markets, that’s usually the case where there’s more demand than there is supply, so that’s pretty normal,” she said. “Those markets kind of evolve over the months as the drivers and riders learn how to use the technology best.”
Uber has been hiring drivers for the service since August, and will continuing to hire more State College drivers in the coming months.