It might be a surprise that I am excited that services like Uber are going to have a regulatory framework from 1st July 2016. I constantly get asked by our customers if Uber is taking lots of business away from us.
The short answer is no.
Taxis in Perth needed a good shake up. Customer service has been terrible, the companies are not accountable, wait times on weekends have been huge and prices have been getting more and more expensive. Uber has been able to rectify these things by getting more drivers on the road, providing solid customer service, managing complaints and discrepancies quickly and easily and by charging up to 50% less than a taxi after all the various fees were taken into account.
At Perth Designated Drivers we never really saw taxis as our competitors as they do not have anything to do with getting your car home. So when Uber came on the scene and started taking all the taxis business, we did not see too much of a dip.
We had a handful of customers who used a Designated Driver in every possible situation because they were so sick of taxis, so Uber offered them an alternative and those customers have since used us less frequently. However the rise in customer awareness of alternatives and their willingness to try new services has vastly improved our customer base. Uber reached the mainstream last year and we had our best year yet.
The best thing overall about Uber becoming legal in WA as of July 1st 2016 is the opportunities that the legislation gives us to provide transport alternatives to our customers. We have long been asked to taxi regular customers in our own cars because they appreciate our customer services and punctuality, however we have always had to refuse as we could not be insured to do so and one fine could put us out of business. Now we will be able to offer customers point to point taxi services, airport transfers and even being able to transport additional passengers in the chaser vehicle.
Thanks Uber, Thanks WA Government, Thanks Customers.