Working three jobs and studying, one of Busselton’s first Uber drivers Lucio joined up as a driver to the ride sharing service to earn extra income.
One of Lucio’s jobs is full time, the other two are casual. one is seasonal and the other is on call, being an Uber driver offers him flexibility to work around his schedule.
Lucio had previously worked as a chauffeur in Perth and held the driver’s licence required to be an Uber driver, so it was an easy decision for him to sign up.
He does not believe Uber will have a huge impact on the taxi service in Busselton, rather it will offer another service to people who may not necessarily use taxis.
“There will not be less people using taxis, it will be a different group of people using Uber. Some people who use taxis will not necessarily know Uber,” he said.
Lucio said the service was good for tourists who already had the the app on their smart phones, especially for those who could not speak English because they did not have to make a phone call.
“There are many reasons why Uber is actually a cool thing for the community rather than worse for the community,” he said.
From a customer’s perspective, Lucio said Uber offered people a cheaper service and young people who could not normally afford a taxi could now use Uber to get home.
“If we want to look at both sides, young people who cannot afford $50 for a taxi because they have ‘drunk’ it all before, can now get home with $12,” he said.
He said a reason why people chose Uber was the cost, which customers agreed to when they booked the service and could save passengers up to 50 per cent for transportation.
“People save money which they can go spend somewhere else, if people spend less money the more keen they are to take transportation because it costs less.
For Lucio being an Uber driver offered him flexibility in his busy schedule, he is able to control how much money he earns and knows how much money he has earned.
At the moment there are 12 drivers signed up in Busselton and Dunsborough with another two going through the registration process.
“Passengers can choose me and rate me, one job I had a couple from Adelaide who told me they used Uber everyday, it made them feel safe and had trust in the company.
Lucio said Uber drivers had their vehicles inspected which could not be more than 10 years old.
The service also allows drivers to withdraw money if they need an advance on their pay and can inform drivers they could earn another $200 if they worked two more hours (as an example).
“Drivers can actually control many things through the app, not to mention you can turn it on or off anytime you want.”