Like many visitors, my last Uber ride was to the airport. Idrissu, a driver-partner in Seattle, picked me up downtown. My rider app noted that he’d completed more than 12,000 trips, so I asked how his car was holding up. — A.W.
"I started driving just over a year ago. All those trips have been done with this bad boy. Still going!
I’m a welder. Arc, gas, I can do it all. My family is in West Africa, so I make a trip home every year. And each time before I would leave, I had to be really nice with my supervisor, so that he would take me back after my vacation. Twice I just had to quit and go, then find a new job when I was back in the U.S.
For a while I was welding and driving. Then, this past summer, I could stay for two and a half months. I could relax. The freedom with Uber is that if I put a little bit more effort, if I drive for 50 or 60 hours a week, I make more, way more than at a welding job. And I keep my freedom. Time to exercise, to do whatever you want to do.
Everyone in my village knows what Uber is, that I drive. As a driver, the gifts I have gotten—the caps, keychains, T-shirts—I brought those things with me and gave them to people.
As soon as Uber added tipping to the rider app, I saved all of my tips. At the end of each week, I add the tip total to my savings account. The village where I’m from is building a well. This year I donated all of the tips I earned to that project."
Photo: Navid Baraty
People | Place | Community