Uber is coming to Cairns, Wollongong, Townsville and the Hunter Valley

Stephanie Yip 14 March 2017 NEWS

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It's all happening on Thursday 16 March 2017.

On-demand car hire service Uber is showing no signs of slowing down and has just announced that it will be expanding its network to the regional centres of Cairns, Wollongong, Townsville and the Hunter Valley, effective Thursday.

For those unfamiliar with the service, Uber is a cost-effective ridesharing platform that allows you to order a ride from a nearby driver with your smartphone using the Uber app. It also allows anyone to become a driver and earn an income using the platform.

It is currently available in 14 Australian cities. These include major cities like Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide as well as regional cities such as Newcastle, Byron Bay, Toowoomba and the Sunshine Coast.

Most notable in this regional expansion is the fact that all four new cities are based in NSW and Queensland. This is because it's generally easy and affordable for drivers to comply with state regulations, which include paying a $237 annual licence fee, obtaining special insurance and installing reflective signs on their vehicle.

Uber is currently screening drivers in Cairns, Wollongong, Townsville and the Hunter Valley and hopes to have 100 drivers in each centre by its launch date on 16 March 2017.

The last big Australian launch announcement by Uber was in May 2016 when it was given the green light in Adelaide. To celebrate the event it offered free trials of the service to new customers. While there's no news as to whether Uber will be offering customers in these cities a similar deal, it's worth keeping an ear to the ground for launch specials.

Alternatively, if you've never used the ridesharing service before or live in another city, all first-time users are eligible for a $20 credit with Uber.

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