Uber reveals plan to launch in Mackay
RIDESHARE company Uber is coming to Mackay.
The international transportation service has fast become a phenomenon around the globe, with taxi drivers facing the brunt of the takeover.
Operating in all major cities in Australia, the company has just announced it will be expanding regionally. Mackay, Bundaberg, Gladstone, Hervey Bay and Rockhampton will make up the five new Queensland locations.
The announcement isn't such great news for Mackay Whitsundays Taxis General Manager Gerry Lucas who believes taxi and ride sharing businesses are not on a level playing field.
"All us taxi drivers are asking for is a fair go," Mr Lucas said.
"I think ride sharing businesses should be made to comply with the same rules that taxis have.
"Everyone should face the same regulations so we all have equal expenses."
Mr Lucas said taxi companies were forced to install $4000 security cameras in their vehicles - something Uber did not have to do.
"I'm not sure why we aren't all asked to comply with the same safety regulations.
"I think the government should take a good long look at the industry and make some changes.
"We welcome the competition to Mackay but all we want is a fair go."
Mackay resident Sean Butler has recently moved north from the Sunshine Coast and thinks a bit of competition will be good for the transport industry.
"Anything that boosts competition is always going to be a good thing," Mr Butler said.
"I think cab drivers have been jacking up prices for a long time."
The 31-year old always used Uber while in Brisbane and said he preferred the service for many reasons.
"I found Uber was always cheaper and you can use the app to review the driver," he said.
"Even passengers get reviewed so if you had a bad rating as a passenger you wouldn't be able to call an Uber anymore. "It keeps everyone accountable."
Uber will expand to regional cities from December this year reaching a further 1 million people - taking its Australian user base to 4.8 million users.
Queensland State Manager at Uber Alex Golden said the service would be an asset to the region during peak hours.
"In our experience in other cities, we expect the app will be busiest on weekends and during major events like Mackay's popular River Sessions concert."
In September, rideshare service Muve announced it was looking to expand into Mackay however is yet to launch and did not respond to requests for further information.