School bell signals start of ride-share app in Fraser Coast
PARENTS can call a new form of transport with the touch of a button to get home from school today.
Controversial ride-share app Uber will launch in Hervey Bay and Maryborough at 3pm as part of a regional roll out.
The company's expansion to the Fraser Coast's major centres will simultaneously launch in Bundaberg, Gladstone, Rockhampton and Mackay.
Uber's Queensland state manager Alex Golden told the Chronicle the December date was picked due to an increase in travel needs for the festive season.
"We know this month a lot of people will be out and about exploring their city and celebrating the need to get home safely drastically increases," he said.
"Plus a lot of people can earn some extra cash for Christmas."
Mr Golden would not confirm the amount of drivers already accredited with Uber in the region citing "competitive reasons".
"In Queensland all our potential drivers go through a process by the Department of Transport and Main Roads which requires them to have an Australian driver's licence, drivers authorisation, background check, insurances including CTP, a booked hire service licence and a government administered vehicle inspection," he said.
"We have had a lot of interest from people who want to become drivers and expect more to come through once we are established in the area."
Mr Golden explained the company claimed 25 per cent of a total trip cost with the rest going into the driver's pocket.
"Safety is the most important part of how we operate across Australia," he said.
"All drivers are vetted, all riders have their information stored safety in the app and each trip is tracked so if something does happen we have all the details to pass onto law enforcement.
"At the end of each trip both drivers and customers can rate each other and provide feedback.
"Another safety feature is that we are cashless and if you need customer support for any reason it is as simple as pushing a button in the app and staff will respond shortly."
Mr Golden said the app worked on supply and demand.
"If there are too many riders and not enough drivers then the price increases to entice more drivers to the area," he said.
"Customers are fully notified of the fare and have to acknowledge it when they choose to take the trip at the higher price or they can wait until the price goes down.
"Our drivers have no rosters and have full autonomy to choose how much they work."
Mr Golden conceded this meant there could be times when people attempt to call an Uber there might not be one available as there might not be a driver working.
"We have found the most effective way in to work in smaller cities is not to work solid 9-5 hours but by keeping a close eye on busy hours throughout the week," he said.
In Queensland Uber is already operating in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Toowoomba, the Sunshine Coast, Cairns and Townsville.