UBER LIVES: Featured in Mashable
Coverage of the Uber Lives: LA web series on Mashable today:
Two decades ago, Alireza moved to Los Angeles and began building up a menswear business. Pants, shirts, shoes — all manufactured and sold in the United States. He had loyal customers. He had more than 150 employees. He had a livelihood.
Then “all of the sudden” he lost it all, as customers fled to cheaper stores supplied by products made in China.
“I was losing and I was losing and I was losing. Then I had to go into bankruptcy. We lost everything,” Alireza says solemnly to a camera interview while driving.
Uber turned his life around, he says. His situation improved after meeting a female Uber driver at a party, which inspired Alireza’s wife to become a Lyft driver and inspired Alireza to drive for Uber.
“The money is okay right now. We can pay our bills. My life is going on right now a little better than poverty because of this job that I have.”
Alireza is one of five Los Angeles Uber drivers, all identified only by their first names, whose backstories are featured in an original video series posted this week to Vid.me, an online video community. The personal histories of each driver vary wildly, but the collective message is clear: the next Uber driver you hail may have traveled an incredibly difficult road before taking the wheel.
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