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CHOICE test shows UberX thrashes the competition

October 1, 2015 Business News, Headline News 2 Comments Print Print Email Email

egtmedia59Despite widespread opposition by established operators to new “sharing economy” enterprises such as the car hire service Uber and the home accommodation service Airbnb, at least one of the new players serves the consumer well on price and reliability.

Consumer advocacy group CHOICE put UberX and taxi services to the test to find out which is best in terms of price and reliability. Result: CHOICE found UberX was safe, reliable, and nine times out of 10 cheaper than taking a taxi. It found taxis were on average 40% more expensive than UberX.

CHOICE conducted a total of 56 trips across Sydney – 28 UberX rides and 28 taxi rides – in pairs and at seven different times. We also compared a number of safety features such as regulatory checks, how the trip is recorded, GPS tracking and insurance.

“Our results show that ride sharing services not only provide a reliable and cost effective alternative to taxis, but also deliver much needed competition in the point-to-point passenger service market,” CHOICE Director of Campaigns and Communications Matt Levey, said.http://www.thavornbeachvillage.com/phuket-hotel-promotion-package/

“It wasn’t all bad news for taxis, which showed up quicker on average, as a result of the convenience of hailing one off the street. However, when taxis were booked they tended to take longer to show up than UberX.

“There were also two times taxis didn’t show up at all, pointing to the well-known issue across the industry around reliability,” Levey said.

“Part of the problem may be that taxi drivers are told the passenger’s destination, which may make short trips less attractive. Uber drivers on the other hand aren’t given your destination until they turn up.

“We also found no evidence to support NSW Taxi Council’s claim that ride sharing services were ‘no safer than hitch-hiking’, with both services providing safe transport options.

“Obviously regulations should apply equally to taxi services and to UberX – but the point of regulating should be to protect consumers and encourage competition in the market, not to protect one particular business from its competitors.

“The current restrictions on taxi licences benefit the taxi industry and raise costs for consumers. We believe easing the restrictions would promote competition and ultimately be good for consumers,” Levey commented.

Key findings

  • UberX was cheaper than a taxi around nine times out of 10.
  • Taxis were 40% more expensive than UberX on average.
  • On three occasions, UberX was an average of 6% more expensive due to surge pricing.
  • Of the 28 UberX rides, CHOICE encountered surge pricing four times.
  • On one occasion out of 28, there was no UberX available (the rider caught the next cheapest available option, UberTaxi).
  • Of the 28 trips, there were two instances when the booked taxi didn’t show up (this meant they hadn’t arrived within 15 minutes of booking).
  • On one occasion, one of CHOICE’s riders waited for over an hour, with the taxi never showing up.
  • 16 out of 28 times (57%) UberX took longer to show up than taxis, largely due to the convenience of being able to hail a taxi.
  • For the 10 out of 16 times (62.5%) taxis were booked, the taxi took longer to turn up.

Edited by Peter Needham

Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. AgentGerko says:

    CHOICE missed one important factor with UberX. If you’re not in the CBD, Eastern Suburbs or Inner West you’re chances of getting one decrease greatly. Here on the mid North Shore I’ve used the Uber app dozens of times and never yet even seen one UberX car in the neighbourhood. Only Uber Black. I find the GoCatch taxi app far more reliable and you don’t have cabs not showing because you can see on the realtime map exactly where they are.

  2. Rachel Galindo says:

    Uber benefits from tighter regulations on the competition and a new set of lax regulation for their services.

    Uber will deceive people into driving for them with non of the responsibilities but all the benefits since uber doesn’t own any car does not employ any driver.
    Uber will throw money at lobbyists to draft a new set of transportation rules that will favor them, but will hurt the competition. Uber with the help of their lobbyists will mold a new set of labor and insurance regulations, that also will favor them, and will hurt their completion.

    Equal opportunities rights would not be afforded by the competition. Government will keep a tight grip on traditional cabs, while giving ample maneuvering margin to uber to mold the law, favorable to uber, but unfavorable to uber.

    How a 50+ billion dollar corporation, with investments managers like Goldman Sachs, can be called a ride-share company.

    Sharing Economy concept has being corrupted and it doesn’t mean what it meant a couple year ago…

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