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First Posted: 2/3/2015

Is the popular ride-sharing program Uber coming here? If 25 help-wanted posts on LinkedIn — the the self-described “world’s largest professional network” — are genuine, the answer is a resounding yes.

The LinkedIn posts are seeking applicants for Uber jobs in Wilkes-Barre and Scranton. Uber is a rapidly growing, sometimes controversial ride-sharing business that works through an app for smart phones. A person seeking a ride submits a ride request, which is relayed to Uber drivers — in some cases, they may simply be heading where the ride-seeker is going anyway.

Born in San Francisco and quickly expanded into 53 countries and some 200 cities. Uber has powerful appeal to those who use their phones ubiquitously for everything from Facebook and Twitter posts to banking, getting coupon-style discounts at stores, listening to music and watching videos.

But it has drawn protests worldwide from taxi drivers in larger metropolitan areas who see it as a threat to their livelihood, operating at cheaper rates thanks to a lack of regulation.

The Orlando Sentinel in Florida reported Feb. 2 that new rules there require drivers to pay a $250 vehicle permit and charge a minimum fare of $2.40, more than double Uber’s $1 base charge. Uber Florida General Manager Matthew Gore has promised “to fully reimburse (drivers) for all legal or financial costs associated with any citations received,” according to the Sentinel.

The LinkedIn postings all say a person can “earn up to $20 per hour.” The ads are looking for client support professionals, limo drivers, customer-oriented professionals, delivery drivers, route drivers, shuttle bus drivers, courier drivers, service professionals, taxi drivers and “veterans have the drive.”

The posting are for both Uber, the original service, and UberX, which the company bills as “the low-cost Uber” on their website. The company has also launched Uber military, which looks to get returning veterans or military spouses as drivers. The website bills it as “you’ve got drive, now take the wheel.”

The Uber website boasts that becoming a driver provides unlimited flexibility (“drive when you want”), the potential to “earn great money as an independent contractor,” and freedom from a time clock and business politics (“no office, no boss”).

Despite the wide range of job titles on LinkedIn, They all seem to have the same job description, which can be read in the box attached to this story.

A query seeking confirmation of possible expansion into Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties did not get an immediate reply from Uber.