Drivers rage as Uber closes Brisbane headquarters
UBER has shut down its offices in Brisbane to slow the spread of coronavirus, but drivers will still be on the road as normal.
The multi-billion global rideshare giant has reassured users that it has no plans to stop drivers from picking up passengers, amid escalating measures by Australian authorities to limit the virus' spread.
The decision to close Greenlight Hubs has been criticised by one driver, who accused Uber of using the crisis to shut the service while still making money from drivers.
A message sent to drivers yesterday referred to the closure as "temporary."
An Uber spokesman confirmed to The Courier-Mail that the company had closed its Brisbane Greenlight Hub offices along Montague Rd, West End today.
"We want to protect the driver community, as well as the Uber customer support experts who help them every day, by temporarily closing our Greenlight Hubs to encourage social distancing," the spokesman said
"Our goal is to help flatten the curve on community spread in the cities we serve."
But the spokesman acknowledged that the move will create "challenges" for drivers.
Greenlight outlets provide in-person help to new drivers wanting to sign up to Uber and assistance for existing drivers.
There are seven Greenlight Hubs in Australia, including one in Brisbane and one on the Gold Coast.
"Drivers and delivery partners around the world are also receiving in app messages reminding them of basic steps they can take to help prevent the spread of the virus which draws on advice from public health authorities," he said.
"In response to the ongoing spread of coronavirus, we've reminded Uber Eats users that they can request deliveries be left on their doorsteps."
But one driver, who talked on the condition of anonymity, said the closure would leave many drivers on the "frontline" high and dry.
"They've reduced their cost in providing the service, but kept the frontline people exposed to the very reason they've closed their call centre," he said.
"(Drivers who need help) have just lost any access to that."
"They're still collecting the revenue."