SOUTH DALLAS, TX -- When you think southern Dallas, the picture in your mind probably isn’t the prettiest, is it? No doubt, this is the under served part of Big D where business is more bust than boom.
The Grow South initiative from the City of Dallas has provided the southern half of the city with the Bishop Arts District, Southside on Lamar and others, but people in that area know it’s tough to shake a bad rap once it latches on.
They’ve put the work in, but what if you build it, and the people can’t come?
"A lot of things in South Dallas, they are deprived of a lot of opportunities that come that way,” said South Dallas resident Donnie Metcalf. "Sometimes, you’ve got cab drivers and stuff that won't even come in the area.”
Without a ride, you’re not growing, you’re grounded.
The catalyst, though, is rolling down the street with an Uber sticker in the window, and it’s called "Drive South."
"Our goal is for folks in southern Dallas to have the same seamless experience as those in Uptown, Downtown and North Dallas,” said Uber Dallas General Manager Leandre Johns.
Uber’s been available throughout Dallas since 2012, but drivers choose where they’ll go, and southern Dallas is often left out.
Hiring 2,500 drivers from that area in the next year and even leasing them cars, if necessary.
Uber and the City of Dallas hope this is the simple step needed to sink that South Dallas stigma.
"Where there’s transportation to get to and from, it creates accessibility to those areas,” Johns said.
Metcalf added, “You don’t want your elderly mom standing out on a bus stop late like that. You wanna have somebody respectable to pick her up and take her home and make sure she’s safe.”
If you missed the meeting and sign up Wednesday to be an Uber Dallas driver, Johns said there will be many more sign up events in the coming months.