Uber donates space for Austin’s mega shelter

Shelter in southeast Austin for Harvey evacuees. (KXAN Photo)
Shelter in southeast Austin for Harvey evacuees. (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Part of the building that the city of Austin is using to operate its mega shelter is actually leased by Uber. Out of the 160,000-square-foot space located at 7000 Metropolis Dr., 64,000 square feet of that is Uber’s space.

Multiple sources in the city tell KXAN that Uber has decided to donate the space to the city for at least three months. Uber leases the property. The city would have paid $54,000 a month to use but Uber decided not to charge. The company will also pick up the tab for rides $50 or less to and from the shelter.

“The destruction that Hurricane Harvey left behind is devastating. There is no better use for this space than to serve as a place of refuge for those affected by this terrible storm,” Uber spokesman Travis Considine told KXAN.

Other costs to the city for the remaining space in the warehouse will be reimbursed by the state or Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The city said the new location in southeast Austin is better suited for its needs because they can scale as needed and there is plenty of parking.

Uber has also donated $300,000 in rides, food, and relief to victims of the Hurricane. The shelter will be emptied and returned to the company when it’s no longer needed.

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