Looks like Uber, an app for hiring private car drivers, wants to come to Baltimore

October 17, 2012

Uber, the popular car-hire service that's been making waves (and controversy) across the U.S., is interested in setting up shop in Baltimore, according to its website and to a job description on Jobvite for an operations manager. (H/T to @insidecharmcity for the tweet)

Uber is giving the traditional taxi/limo business -- and regulators -- heartburn in cities across the country, as the company uses smartphone apps to connect with customers who are looking for rides.

The company was covered in the Wall Street Journal today for trying to launch a yellow taxi cab-hailing app in New York City, but it was rebuffed by regulators there. But Uber is still offering a black car/limo pre-arranged pickup service, which is quite common in the Big Apple.

Uber tries to get the disparate black car limo services onto their smartphone-app-based dispatched platform, so people can just order car service through the app. Then Uber gets a tiny cut of the fares. How does Uber make money? This Q&A on Quora takes a stab at an answer but I can't vouch for it.

I've reached out to Uber for comment; waiting to hear back from them.

The Jobvite posting is below. The highlights:

1) Baltimore is the experimental market, and the manager will try to run it while being based in DC. "80% of your time in DC and 20% of your time in Baltimore."

2) Manage local regulatory concerns and local politics (Ahem, Uber, this alone might end up being a full-time task.)

3) You get lots of Uber credits, which I guess means you get to motor around town a lot in black cars.

4) My personal favorite: "Baltimore knowledge/background a plus (not req’d)" -- Oh, Uber, I hope you know what you're getting into.

City Operations Manager - Baltimore (based in Washington DC)Uber
Washington DC, United States
We’re looking for a fearless, brilliant manager to run the Baltimore Market as we experiment running a city remotely. As the City Operations Manager of Baltimore, you’re responsible for the development and growth of our business in one of the major cities in the U.S. You are forward-thinking and flexible as we play with how to run our business out of an existing market. You are a pioneer in innovating our growth and an operational savant.

The City Operations Manager owns the supply and demand side of a city. You make the magic that is Uber a reality. It’s a big deal, and the qualities and capabilities required of an Uber MM require that you be an incredibly intelligent, talented and highly sought-after professional. Sound like you?

This role is a combination of on-the-ground operational magic and innovative marketing efforts. Continual improvement and a focus on quality are the name of the game. We believe in solving local problems with local solutions, so understanding your market and delivering custom messages is important. This is where creativity meets analytics and execution head on.  You need be a strong operational thinker,, focusing on reaching new users and extending the Uber brand to the masses. But as the city lead, you’ll also be responsible for operational excellence and maintaining ‘Uber’ quality throughout the rider experience.

And it’s the cross of the analytical with the creative that makes the Uber Operations Manager role an incredibly difficult job to fill. If you’re potentially one of the truly rare, gifted Uber City Operations Managers, we want to hear from you! 

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