Whoa, check out Uber’s new Philly headquarters for its more than 12,000 drivers in the region.
The ridesharing company has set down roots deep in Southwest Philly, just north of the airport, and it’s more than twice the size of their last driver operations center in Center City (now taken over by health IT startup Life.io).
From the outside it gives off a very corporate office park vibe, but the inside is more of the startup vibe you’d expect — polished concrete floors and trendy light fixtures.
Uber, which has another office in an undisclosed Center City location for its operations staffers, opened a new driver office last month because it needed more space and access to parking, said Uber spokesman Craig Ewer. It’s 4,200 square feet.
“Uber Philly’s new home on Bartram Avenue will provide driver-partners with a best-in-class customer service and technical support experience,” said Philadelphia general manager Jon Feldman through a spokesman. “With ample free parking and proximity to the airport, the new Partner Support Center was designed foremost to meet drivers’ needs.” (Feldman is a Wharton MBA who founded and sold his NYC venture-backed publishing startup.)
Ewer declined to disclose how many full-time staffers were based at the Southwest Philly office but said that it was designed to serve thousands of drivers, or “partners,” as Uber calls them, each week.
At the office, staffers help onboard drivers and show them how to do things like use the driver app and track payments. Uber has offices like these all across the country, including several in Northern California, one in Hoboken, N.J., and one in Portland, Ore.
The office feels like a commitment to the Philadelphia area, which Ewer said is one of its larger markets, despite the legal challenges it faces in the city, like lawsuits from a local taxi company and its own UberBLACK drivers, who say that uberX has cannibalized their business.
There’s also that little thing about how uberX is technically operating illegally in Philadelphia.
Fun fact: Uber served 455,000 unique riders in the last three months in the Philadelphia area, Ewer said.
According to a cursory search on LinkedIn, it looks like Uber has a little under 20 staffers in Philly, most of which are marketing and operations roles.
Check out photos of the new Partner Support Center below.