Uber has plans to recruit 50,000 veterans, military members, and military spouses by the end of 2014 as part of a program called UberMILITARY.
The program was first announced in September and has picked up momentum in recent days, as discussed here on Saturday but today Uber has quietly rolled out a special one-day program for Veterans Day in some US cities.
If you plan to ride with Uber today, UberMILITARY may be one of your selection options. If you elect to ride with UberMILITARY today, you can select a driver who is a past or current military member and $1 of your fare may go to help a veterans organization.
Sadly, the rollout of this has not been well communicated for the day. Drivers in many cities (who also monitor the Uber user app to see where other drivers may be presently positioned) reported seeing a new UberMILITARY option today. No announcement was made to partner drivers so the new (temporary?) addition caught many by surprise. The only indication in Dallas was a partner survey in recent days asking current drivers to record past or present military service.
I was changing planes in Charlotte when I heard the driver buzz and checked in to find UberMILITARY as a valid option in that market. Instead of a car icon, the driver location for military drivers is marked as a yellow ribbon. The rates there for UberMILITARY appeared to be the same as the rates for UberX.
I did some sleuthing and found only one outside press mention from the Triangle Business Journal for the Raleigh-Durham market. They report that $1 of each UberMILITARY ride in their market will be donated to Hiring Our Heroes. Uber may be communicating the promotion via individual city blogs but has not announced any national promotion at this time.
If you need to ride Uber today, it’s worth checking to see if there is an UberMILITARY promotion in your city. And if you do get the chance to ride, don’t forget to thank your driver for serving.