X-Press Magazine App launch partner, Uber, is changing the way people think about catching taxis around the world… and now here in Perth. We caught up with Uber spokesperson, Katie Curran, to get the lowdown.
What were Uber’s beginnings and how quickly has it grown?
Uber started in 2009 when our founders, Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp, were visiting Paris and were frustrated at the lack of taxis. As engineers, they thought ‘wouldn’t it be great if you could just press a button and a car appeared?’. So, when they got back to San Francisco, they got started on building the first iteration of Uber for their friends. Since then, Uber has grown to be in over 200 cities in 45 countries around the world, completing millions of trips a week and creating 50,000 new jobs a month for partner-drivers coming on to the platform.
Some people are a little puzzled as to what the difference is between Uber and ‘regular’ taxi services?
Uber is all about a safe, reliable and convenient experience at the tap of a button. Once riders have registered their details, they can open the app and see the cars that are close by, with estimated pick-up times. Once they request a ride, they can watch the car come to their location on the app – so no more street hailing in the dark at night, you can wait in your home or at a restaurant and simply go outside when you see it arrive.
The transparency of the Uber platform ensures that anyone requesting a ride sees the name, face and vehicle registration of the driver before they even enter the car and the Share My ETA feature also allows the rider to share their journey in real time, via the app, with loved ones, if they wish.
All drivers and riders also rate each other at the end of their journey and those not meeting Uber’s very high standards are quickly removed from the system.
What kinds of cars does Uber provide?
In Perth, we currently have our UberBLACK offering, so you could get picked up in a Holden Caprice, BMW or Lexus, for example.
What’s the current size of the Uber operation in WA and what will it build to?
Uber currently has its UberBLACK service in Perth with thousands of riders signing up every week. As we have seen in every city we are in around the world, once people experience Uber, they tell their friends and we grow exponentially – which is exactly what we have seen in Perth.
A free $40 luxury car experience can be yours by downloading the new X-Press Magazine App from the iTunes Store or Google Play and clicking on the Uber ad once you’re inside.