Electric and accessible vehicles as well as career development for Uber’s ride share drivers were topics of discussion between Uber and Mayor Bill Peduto on Friday morning, per the mayor’s office.
Peduto met with Shari Shapiro, Uber’s head of public affairs for Pennsylvania and Delaware, and Eric Meyhofer, head of Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group, in his office, according to Peduto’s public schedule.
City spokesman Tim McNulty told The Incline via email that it was a “catch-up meeting on a number of topics” but largely an opportunity for Peduto to meet Meyhofer, who was named the head of the ATG in April. Meyhofer, a former Carnegie Mellon University professor, joined Uber in 2015 and later replaced Anthony Levandowski, who stepped down during Uber’s legal battle with Waymo.
McNulty wrote that the meeting included discussion of adding electric cars to the Uber fleet and of adding cars that are accessible for people with disabilities. The trio also discussed “partnering with community colleges to provide career development classes for drivers,” per McNulty.
Uber didn’t want to go into detail, but confirmed that sustainability, accessibility and education were discussed.
“Today we had a positive discussion with Mayor Peduto and identified several areas where we can work collaboratively for the benefit of Pittsburgh,” Uber spokesman Craig Ewer said in an email to The Incline, declining further comment.
Peduto has previously been vocal about his disappointments with Uber, while the company stressed it has a good relationship with the city.
Earlier this week, the city confirmed that a memo of understanding urging greater social responsibility from Uber is still in the works. Peduto proposed the MOU in April and has acknowledged he can’t force Uber sign it once it’s done.
On Monday, the ride-sharing company announced in-app tipping for Uber and UberEATS drivers in Pittsburgh as part of a “180 Days of Change” initiative to improve the driver experience. That plan was announced June 20, the same day that founder Travis Kalanick resigned as CEO, following a slew of company controversies.