Uber announced the new initiative late last month in select U.S. cities, including Boston, Charlotte and San Francisco. This week the initiative was introduced in the Washington area and Uber plans to continue to expand it across the country, Uber spokesman Taylor Bennett said Tuesday.
Uber drivers will be able to download the app connecting them to ride-seekers to their personal cell phones .
By giving drivers this option, Uber hopes to appease the growing uproar among drivers who have complained about payment issues and unfair treatment from the company.
Some drivers have complained about unexpected fees suddenly being deducted from their paychecks, including the $10 charge for the use of the company-issued app-ready phone. Uber drivers also have complained that their profits are cut each time the company decides to implement fare discounts as a strategy to draw more customers.
Most of the complaints have come from drivers for uberX, the cheapest of Uber’s services. Some say that while the company has promised them 80 percent of the fares riders pay, their paychecks reflect a much lower share.
See our Sunday story: Some Uber drivers say company’s promise of big pay day doesn’t match reality
Uber said the “Bring your Own Device” program “adds flexibility and choice to the driver experience. This is just another way in which we are listening to our partners and improving our platform so that both drivers and riders can benefit from a truly Uber experience.”