Bathurst will enter a new age of public transport today with the official launch of the Uber ride-sharing service.
The ride-sharing service, which is currently used by nearly 4 million people throughout Australia, will aim to diversify the public transport sector in Bathurst.
The service will go live from 3pm today.
Uber head of cities for Australia and New Zealand Natalie Malligan says the introduction of the ride-sharing service will provide an expanded range of options for residents seeking public transport.
“It’s going to mean another safe, affordable and reliable option for people to get from A to B,” Ms Malligan said.
“We’re excited to be launching ahead of Christmas when we know lots of people are looking to get around using public transport."
Bathurst is one of six cities in regional NSW set to launch Uber services today, alongside Orange, Tamworth, Wagga Wagga, Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour.
Uber is an app-based service that requires users to set up an account on their mobile phone in order to connect with nearby drivers.
Ms Malligan says the service provides a seamless experience for customers.
“With Uber, you’re able to enter your destination on the app, and at the touch of a button, a vehicle is booked for you,” she said.
“Once booked, you’ll know up front how much the trip is going to cost you and how far away your driver is.”
When Uber was announced for the Bathurst region back in October, questions were raised as to how it would affect the city’s taxi service, with the ride-sharing app set to become a major competitor.
Despite this, Ms Malligan said that the roll-out of Uber services would complement existing transport options.
“We choose cites based on where we see high levels of demand, and Bathurst has seen a lot of people open the Uber app without being able to access services,” she said.
“For those who aren’t exactly sold by our services yet, we invite them to open the app and give it a go, and I think they’ll find it’s a perfectly safe and reliable option.”
While not disclosing how many drivers had signed up to Uber, Ms Malligan said that there was a group of excited partners ready to commence services in Bathurst.
“We’re always interested in having more drivers sign up, and if anyone’s keen on making some money over the Christmas period, we’d love to hear from them,” she said.