Rideshare starts in Port

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Nick Dal­ton

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.

Picture: JUSTIN BRIERTY

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

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