Rideshare starts in Port
LONG established Cairnsbased taxi operators Ray and John McRoberts are taking on Uber and have launched their own ride share app business.
1300 Ride Share has started at Port Douglas where the father and son also operate three taxis.
They have bought and fitted out five new Honda Jazz hatchbacks complete with sign-writing, unlike Uber where drivers provide their own unmarked vehicles.
Fixed fares are as low as $5 for the first 5 kilometres and then rise in increments still being fine tuned.
Unlike Uber there will be no surge fares when demand is high.
“A ride to the Cairns Airport is $166 while a taxi is $188,” Mr McRoberts junior said.
The fare to Mossman and Cooya Beach is $30 while to Julatten it is $60 and to Mt Molloy $100.
The drivers accept cash as well as Eftpos, all credit and debit cards, Paypal and even Cabcharge.
The cars include security cameras, are fully insured, including public liability cover, and are registered as passenger transport vehicles.
“There has been a lot of dis- cussion about ride share vehicles not having security cameras but we have installed $3500 cameras in each car,” Mr McRoberts said.
The family admits the business will compete with their own taxis but had no alternative.
“There are other operators using shuttle buses and Uber has just started as well. It’s very competitive at Port Douglas,” Mr McRoberts junior said.
“We couldn’t sit back and not take it ... we’re fighting back,” he said.
1300 Ride Share (1300 743 374) works like taxis. The eight drivers sign a bailment agreement with the McRoberts, hiring the vehicle and paying back a percentage of the fares collected.
The cars are owned by the McRoberts who pay for fuel, tyres and other servicing.
Last Friday before the business had started a fare was booked within five minutes of a car being seen at Port Douglas.
Mr McRoberts junior said the firm would operate 24/7 and the aim was to provide a car within five minutes of a booking,
The McRoberts have invested “a considerable amount” in the business which uses a national call centre to handle bookings.
Managing director John and director Ray McRober have created a ride share app to take on Uber and have their own sign written cars, rolling out in Port Douglas first