On-demand transportation company Uber now lets Los Angeles passengers decide if they want a bilingual driver who can speak Spanish.
The option, UberESPAÑOL, launched in L.A., Orange County and Chicago on Tuesday after an initial roll-out earlier this year in San Diego, Phoenix and Tucson. It comes at no extra cost to passengers, who can make the selection by pressing a button inside the Uber app indicating they want a driver who can speak Spanish.
The move caters to Southern California’s large Latino population and gives Uber a way to tap into a growing market.
"Latinos now account for over 53 million people in the United States and almost 40% of California,” said Ruben Guerra, chairman of Latin Business Assn. "With that tremendous growth comes a more prominent seat at the business table.”
Guerra described the launch of UberESPAÑOL as a "progressive approach" to providing members of the Latino community more opportunities to "conduct their business in the language in which they feel most comfortable."
The Spanish language option is limited to UberX, which is Uber's low-end service where drivers use their personal vehicles to transport passengers.