Uber to begin Gladstone service today
PARENTS can today call on a new form of transport with the touch of a button to get their children home from school.
Controversial ride-share app Uber will launch in Gladstone at 3pm as part of a regional rollout.
The company's expansion to Gladstone is simultaneous with launches in Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Maryborough, Rockhampton and Mackay.
Uber's Queensland state manager Alex Golden said the December date was picked due to an increase in travel 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," Mr Golden said.
"Plus a lot of people can earn some extra cash for Christmas."
Mr Golden said he was thrilled the service could provide another safe and affordable option for locals to get around.
"We know people have been calling out for ridesharing for a while now and are excited to respond to this demand," he said.
"With a safe and affordable way to get from A to B, we believe Uber will provide Gladstone locals with an easier way to get around and will complement local transport networks."
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 attempted to call an Uber that there might not be one available as there might not be a driver working.
Blue and White Taxis Gladstone chairman Allan Rowe welcomed the competition but once again called on the Queensland Government to "level the playing field" for everyone.
"Each taxi operator has to pay $5000 to register their car where these guys operate at an average $840," Mr Rowe said.
"We've got to have our cameras updated by July and they're not forced to take out a $20million (insurance) policy.
"All we've asked (is) to make it fair and equitable across the board."