POLITICO New York | 10:00 am | 12,500 words | 14,500 images, 722 slides, 1.5 terabytes read moreThe world of Uber and other ride-hailing services has long been a bit of a mystery, with the company’s rapid growth and rapid evolution over the past few years.
Now, the company has been forced to face its most recent and troubling internal turmoil, as the ride-sharing company announced it would be shuttering its Pittsburgh headquarters early this year amid a crisis over how it operates its business.
The ride-share company’s Pittsburgh operations will close as of June 30, 2017, with no employees, according to a statement on its website.
The company says it has reached an agreement with its partners, including Lyft, to create an Uber-style platform that will allow for a more flexible, self-driving future.
Uber will continue to offer a number of services, including delivery, and UberX, a competitor to Lyft.
The Pittsburgh site states that Uber’s Pittsburgh operation will “support approximately 200 full-time employees in the coming years, with plans to add more to our team in the near future.”
While the news of the closure of the Pittsburgh operation is somewhat surprising, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick told Bloomberg Businessweek that the Pittsburgh closure “wasn’t surprising” to him.
Kalanicks remarks were in response to a question about whether Uber would close its Pittsburgh operations, saying “there’s no plan for us to close down.”
The Pittsburgh location, which was originally part of the company known as Uber Technologies, is the latest to be shuttered by the ride sharing company.
It will remain open for business as long as its drivers remain employed.
Uber also said on Tuesday that it will begin offering its own Uber-like service called UberX in the United States by the end of 2019.
UberX will use a similar platform to Uber’s current UberX service in the U.S., but will require drivers to wear a helmet and comply with a new set of regulations from the Federal Trade Commission.
Uber said that its drivers in Pittsburgh would continue to have access to its current Uber app, and the company said it would continue “to offer a wide range of transportation services and services that have been optimized for the ride app, including ridesharing, autonomous vehicles, and self-parking.”
Uber said it was also adding a number to its fleet of self-driven, autonomous, and hybrid vehicles that will be able to travel up to 50 miles per hour on the city streets.