Uber drivers poached Juno Photo: c./Flickr

Uber has faced its share of setbacks in recent months, ranging from drivers protesting a fare cut, to outrage over alleged sexual assaults in cars, to late night ridership competition from Lyft.

New York City’s newest ride-sharing service Juno is hoping to become a new power player, but first it is recruiting new drivers by promising to treat them with dignity.

Not only will drivers who sign up receive a free cell phone with free data, Juno will give drivers $25 per week just to carry the device until it officially launches at an undisclosed date.

Other driver-centric benefits of Juno include a low per-ride commission of only 10 percent. Uber’s commission is around 25 percent, with drivers earning just over $20 per hour on average in New York City.

Fifty percent of the company’s founding shares are reserved for its drivers, a move Juno ensures that drivers are “true partners.” They invite drivers to come to their offices at One World Trade Center for coffee to hear the company’s story. Parking is included, of course.

“Drivers are our business. So that’s why we built a business model that puts drivers first,” Nicky Stanard, a training and culture coordinator for Juno, said in an interview with Fast Company.

Referring to the company’s friendly recruitment, he said “You should expect that we will continue this level of kindness throughout our relationship with you.”

With no official launch date announced, it remains to be seen what kind of traction Juno will get, but company co-founder Talmon Marco’s last project was a huge hit. He sold messaging app Viber for $900 million.

Although Juno is concentrating on New York, its social media profiles already have comments from drivers in other cities asking for information.

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