UBER GOES REGIONAL: Ride share app is expanding to regional towns.
UBER GOES REGIONAL: Ride share app is expanding to regional towns. Chris Ison ROK021116cdrive2

What a taxi driver thinks about Uber in country towns

BARRY Hall and his band of taxi drivers have been serving the Kingaroy community for 18 years.

In recent years, with the rise of ride sharing services such as Uber, he has heard calls from the community for services to expand to South Burnett.

A proud taxi driver, with nine drivers and five cars working for Kingaroy Taxi Service, he meets the regulations required by him as a professional driver which includes $4500 to register a taxi.

With a population of about 10,000 Mr Hall can't see the viability of a ride share company starting in Kingaroy.

"It is something that I have no control over and if it happens, it happens,” he said.

"They (passengers) are always complaining about the costs when they are drunk but what they spend at the pub far outweighs what it costs to get them home.”

In December, ride sharing app, Uber will expand to 15 regional towns across the country.

The service will be available to passengers in five regional Queensland towns Bundaberg, Gladstone, Hervey Bay, Mackay and Rockhampton, giving local drivers the opportunity to get behind the wheel and start earning.

An Uber spokesperson said the decision to launch in these towns was based on demand for the service.

"We have chosen cities based on where demand for trips is high, and where ridesharing can complement existing transport options,” they said.

"These launches are not only good for travellers, but also for locals who want to sign up to earn extra money here and there.

"Based on our experience in other regional cities, we expect that riders will be most active on weekends, around major events and during tourism peaks.”

With 43,300 people Mackay has the smallest population of the Queensland towns chosen and Bundaberg has the largest population with almost 93,000 people.

"Realistically I don't think Uber will come here,” Mr Hall said.

"More than 90 per cent of our customers are repeat business and if you muck them around you won't get them again.”

South Burnett

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