Behind the Wheel With Bob: Uber Charlotte Partner, Veteran, Community Builder
Several years ago, Bob found himself sitting in his home in Ohio, watching the falling snow pile up outside his front door. It was one of the many long days Bob recalled during our interview with him. Difficulties with hearing had prevented him from continuing his job as a 911 dispatcher, and without gainful employment, Bob was unsure of how he would once again make a living. But Bob was resilient, as he had overcome hardship before.
When he was much younger, Bob joined The United States Marine Corps and shipped out to Vietnam. After serving there for six months, Bob sustained grave injuries from a command detonated device, resulting in the amputation of both of his legs. When he returned home from the war, he was able to overcome the stigma and isolation faced by a disabled veteran in the 1970s and build a life for himself and his family. He continued to serve his community first at the VA, and then as a 911 dispatcher. Service to his community was an important piece of his identity, he told us, and leaving the job behind wasn’t easy.
To escape the cold and seeking a fresh start, Bob and his wife moved to Charlotte. Bob had little luck finding work when he first arrived in Charlotte. But then he found out about Uber.
Since 1970, Bob has used a vehicle with hand controls retrofitted to accommodate his needs. After speaking to an Uber operations manager, he was excited to hear that he could drive on the platform with his modified Dodge Caravan. That was almost a year ago—and Bob drives almost every day, and on some weekend nights.
After moving to Charlotte, Bob didn’t have many connections in the community, but Uber has enabled him to get out and about and meet people in the Charlotte area. In Bob’s words:
“Uber is a way for a lot of vets to get out — especially disabled vets — who are stuck at home trying to find something to do. It’s a good way to try to break down the barriers that are still left for people with disabilities.”
Bob is one of our many veteran driver partners. Last year we launched UberMILITARY—an initiative to bring economic opportunity to 50,000 members of the military community and their families on the Uber platform. We are excited to continue our commitment to partners in the military community and enhance the experience for valued partners like Bob.
We’re excited to expand the Uber for Business platform beyond business travel, to include a world-class customer transportation solution, Uber Central. With Uber Central, organizations of all shapes and sizes can now easily provide on-demand, door-to-door transportation for their customers, clients, and guests.
A little over a year ago, we set out to put a new spin on an old classic–make reliable food delivery available at the tap of a button. Back then, we started by offering food in the UberEATS app from 1,000 pioneering restaurant partners in four cities. And today, more than 40,000 restaurants globally–from poke shops to pasta spots–are sharing food with customers through UberEATS. With a growing restaurant community comes more choices and more complexity. So we’re cooking up features to continue to make UberEATS easy and reliable. Here is a taste–
This flu season, we’re delivering free flu-fighting care packages across the country. When you receive a pack, you’ll have the option to request a free flu shot from a registered nurse–for up to 5 people.