Uber rival Taxify arrives in Sydney

Stephanie Yip 12 December 2017 NEWS

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With the promise of cheaper rides for users and better returns for drivers.

For too long Uber has held a monopoly on ride-sharing services in Australia, having sidelined local competitor GoCatch early on. But now, the ride-share service has a new competitor to contend with.

Conceived in 2013 in Estonia, Taxify is an app-driven ride-share platform that has already cornered markets in Europe and Africa. It launches in Sydney today with the promise to shake up the market by offering cheaper rides and higher returns to drivers when compared with Uber.

But, for Sydneysiders at least, those cheaper rides aren't coming out of base fares.

According to the Taxify website, its fees are like-for-like with Uber's most economic ride, UberX. Both charge a $2.50 base fare as well as $1.45 per kilometre and 40 cents per minute. Both also charge a minimum of $9 per ride and a 55-cent service fee.

Where the benefits lie then seems to be with surge fees, which Taxify says it's planning to approach differently than Uber.

"We want to incentivise without increasing demand," said Taxify's Australia country manager Samuel Raciti to the Sydney Morning Herald during a discussion on surge prices. While the company expects prices to be "dependent on the night", it's not anticipating anything greater than a 1.5 times increase, even on popular days such as New Year's Eve.

Another point of difference is in how these surge prices will be activated. While Uber imposes them automatically, Taxify follows a more manual process with a local team member activating surge prices where they see demand. Whether this will work to users' benefit or detriment, only time will tell.

For drivers, the incentives are much more black and white. Commission rates are 15% with Taxify as opposed to Uber's 20-25% cut. It comes as no surprise then that Taxify has already secured 4,000 drivers in Sydney.

To encourage Sydneysiders to trial the new platform, Taxify is offering 50% off its competitors' base fares for the first month.

The new ride-share service plans to launch in Melbourne as early as next week. This time though, it looks as though fares will slightly undercut Uber with $1.00 per kilometre and 32 cents per minute, as opposed to Uber's $1.15 per kilometre and 35 cents per minute. However, the same base fares, minimum fares and service fees apply.

You can learn more and download Taxify here.


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