The flexibility to ride or earn on the Uber app has changed how people live, work and move. It has not just provided a cheaper way of finding a ride – it has unlocked a completely new way of getting around. These impacts have been felt across the UK ever since we launched here in 2012. A new report, The Impact of Uber in the UK, has been published today to better understand this effect.
The innovations contained within our app allow our users to access safe, reliable, on-demand transportation at all times of the day and night, and provide flexible work options to people who want them. But we are delighted to see the scale of the impact this has had on the UK economy. Uber created an estimated £3.2 billion in value for the UK economy in 2019, by saving time for businesses and creating good, flexible opportunities for tens of thousands of people.
Now, more than ever, we understand the importance of keeping ourselves connected with those we love. Technology, in many forms, has helped make this possible during the pandemic. And we are playing our small part by providing safe trips through the app.
We have always been proud of the flexibility that we offer to drivers who choose to earn on the Uber app. Last year drivers in the UK earned an estimated £231 million on the Uber app, and having the flexibility to choose how, when and where they worked was the most important factor for them.
But this flexibility should not come at the expense of social protections, which is why we were the first platform to provide financial support to cover sickness, injury and parental leave. The report found that, in 2019, more than 9,000 UK partner drivers benefited from free AXA insurance coverage, including payments for over 3,000 new mothers and fathers and more than 50,000 days of compensation for drivers recovering from illness or injury.
As the largest mobility platform in the world, we have a responsibility to all of the drivers and couriers who earn on the platform, as well as the cities in which we operate and everyone who uses our services. This is especially true when it comes to aggressively tackling the climate crisis. That’s why we’ve taken the decision to become a fully electric mobility platform in the UK by 2030, with London leading the way by 2025. We have already made progress: this year we raised over £120m to support drivers in London to switch into an electric vehicle, as well as committing more than £5m to invest in new electric vehicle charging infrastructure in less affluent parts of London, helping to drive a mass market.
The future of urban mobility is changing once again. Our vision of every car on the road being shared and electric will require Uber to play its part in building back better and supporting a green recovery in our cities.