Ride-sharing company Uber has opened a new office in Secaucus to assist its drivers statewide with customer service and technology issues.
The hub is 7,000 square feet, which is double the size of Uber’s previous location in Hoboken. It operates 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.
“Having a local facility makes life easier for driver partners [and] helps us to lay down roots in the community,” General Manager Brian Hughes said.
San Francisco-based Uber also announced Tuesday it would make a $5,000 donation to the Secaucus Emergency Fund, a local nonprofit that helps residents with financial difficulties.
At an Uber press conference, Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli thanked Uber for opening the new facility but also expressed concern for area taxi drivers.
“I think this is going to have a tough effect on them,” Gonnelli said. “That is something that we have to see how it works out and hopefully it works out well. The calls I get are from people who own cab companies. That’s how people live.”
Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO Jim Kirkos hailed Uber’s arrival in Secaucus. He said the chamber has partnered with Gonnelli to promote economic development.
“[Uber] being here with this fabulous facility is an acknowledgement that the Meadowlands is this dynamic growing region of great economic opportunity,” Kirkos said. “We welcome you to enhance this very disruptive business that has caused some great entrepreneurs and job opportunities, which are welcoming to our community.”
Said Uber driver Ronald Griffin: “If you do 30 rides a day, 100 rides a week, you’re going to have a problem. You come here and get them solved.”
Hughes said some drivers occasionally need assistance with how to scan their driver’s license and vehicle insurance, or situations such as how to interact with a customer who uses a service dog.