Uber – My First Real Experiences – a Reflection

These days we live our life on Apps. I think. Don’t we? I mean presumably not everyone, but quite a few. Uber has been around for quite a few years now. But I haven’t really used it, twice I think it was only, before my latest getaway to the Gold Coast.

A particularly colourful taxi in Addis Ababa.

Then it was a series of Uber rides. Taxis seem to almost be a thing of the past in Australia. To run a taxi is a pretty expensive gig I’m led to believe, with fees to the government for licences, safety cameras and so much more, not to mention prepaid trips after 10pm really adding to the running costs.

It seems that the industry is on its knees here – and cabbies have been cashing in their licences and the State Government of Victoria has been giving them money for the last couple of years to do so. So the environment has changed for rides in Australia, as presumably it has for the rest of the world. And again, it’s technology that has changed the scene.

Governments have scrambled to regulate Uber. Initially I believe it was incredibly cheap without regulation and therefore without taxation. Taxi rides in Australia haven’t been cheap for a long time now. I’d would guesstimate a trip to the city from my place, 25 minutes away, would probably push $50AUD.

And all in all, Uber isn’t that much cheaper. To the airport I paid a little under $90. From the city to my home I paid $43AUD – I took the sky bus from the airport to the city which was around $18AU so I saved around $25AUD at a guess there.

As most would know these days, Uber is pretty efficient – you just pop on your app and the nearest car finds you, and that’s the main reason it’s proven a hit – no phone call, no dispatch, less waiting time and slightly cheaper fees.

I used Uber a few times in Surfers’ Paradise too. A little under $40 to Warner Brother’s Movie World, which is a fair way away. Once you use it a few times, it gets simpler. The only issue can be being in the right spot for your Uber to find you. Especially in an unfamiliar place where you may need to be on a certain side of the road.

Here we have Ola as well, who presently are running adverts declaring they are exactly the same as Uber, but cheaper. Talking to one of my drivers, he said he wasn’t going to keep doing Uber as he was only making around $12AUD an hour. Which you know, is not a heck of a lot. In fact, it’s well below minimum wage but that’s the model they use for the drivers to get paid. But others seem to really enjoy it.

Who knows what the next big tech thing like Uber will be? I generally drive most places when at home, and didn’t fancy a 430am drive to the airport when leaving otherwise I might not have tried Uber. But the cars were clean, the drivers all friendly and chatty, I couldn’t have asked for much more really.

It is, I guess, sad that taxis seem to be somewhat on the way out. It’s very hard for them to compete in today’s market. And for ease of use and a slightly better price, it’s the logical choice. I’m yet to use the app overseas – I’ll need data for my phone to do that so we’ll see later in the year.

Thanks for reading today – May the Journey Never End!

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1 Comment

  1. I haven’t used it yet. Its not in the burbs, but you can use it in Tokyo. FWIW, the DH has a “gara-kei” old fashioned flip phone with no apps. He swore he will never convert, I thought I’d convince, but I think he’s just going to be a stubborn aul’ dinosaur forever. And I love him for it!!

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