Meet Fred Rivera: Retiree turned Uber driver partner

March 27, 2017 | Flagstaff
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When Fred Rivera retired from his job, he wasn’t quite ready to give up work. But when it came to the retired life, he really wasn’t ready to do nothing, either.

That’s when his daughter told him about driving with Uber.

“She told me, ‘Dad, you should try Ubering—you can work your own hours and whenever you want!’,” he said.

Fred said he never thought he’d be able to work whenever he wanted.

But within a week, he became a driver partner. Now, less than a year later, Fred is working toward his 2,000th trip with Uber.

“What keeps me going,” he said, “I think, is my pride of being able to do a job effectively and efficiently with a company that communicates with their riders; their employees, and most importantly, the riders thanking me for getting them to their destinations.”

With a wife, kids, and grandkids, Fred is able to work when he wants, how he wants—always with enough earnings to take his grandkids out for pizza when he picks them up from school.

“I really think it does a lot for families,” Fred said, joking that he hasn’t been paid weekly since the 1970s.

Fred has driven everyone from couples to investors and their clients. Both very different experiences, but he knows he makes a difference for his riders.

“They want to be in the back and not worry about driving. They want to get to dinner and drinks—laugh, have a good time,” Fred said. “At night, people get home safely, and the police department loves it—they don’t want to see a teenager jump in a car and drive away (from a party).”

As Fred continues working toward his next trip milestone, he said he knows the Uber community is powerful and tightknit.

“It’s a great company—it just keeps getting better and better,” he said said. “We’re doing something different than before.”