Despite pushback from some city regulators and a major lawsuit, ride-hailing company Uber is expanding its ranks of drivers — and more of them are women, according to new survey funded by the high flying start-up.
The number of active U.S. drivers has more than doubled in the past year to over 400,000 from 160,000, according to survey of Uber drivers by Benenson Strategy Group, an outside research and marketing company. The survey results were posted on Uber's website.
The company's explosive growth in cities has come with criticism from the taxi and limousine industry, which argues Uber is held to less stringent standards for its vehicles and drivers. Additionally, a lawsuit filed in San Francisco claims the ride-hailing service treats drivers like employees without offering benefits, and avoiding costs associated with payroll taxes.
But Uber says its drivers — known as partner-drivers — use the company on their own terms, and that there's no typical driver. U.S. driver-partners have been paid more than $3.5 billion in the U.S. this year as their ranks continued to grow.
"These findings mirror what we hear every day from drivers: flexibility and the chance to be their own boss is a key reason they use Uber; they want work that fits around their life, not the other way around," according to the survey. "And most of our partners work with Uber to make money on the side, driving on their own time and toward their own unique goals."