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Her Say: Issue of the Week

Beatrice Smith and Hayley O'Neill

In this weekly street series we pick a hot topic of the week and ask for your thoughts…

Rideshare service Uber has had tremendous success in the US, UK and even Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, however, while Uber’s website published a blog post in March 2014 stating that Uber Canberra would be ‘launching soon’ it hasn’t eventuated.

For those unaware of the concept of ‘ridesharing’, Uber is a company that aims to compliment (or in some opinions, replace) traditional taxi and private driver services. Using the Uber app on your phone, you arrange a pick-up-and-drop-off similar to a Taxi service. Since the app requires your credit card details, the entire transaction is cashless. While this means you cannot tip your Uber driver, you are able to rate every driver you travel with. If an Uber driver falls below an average rating of 4/5 stars, they are kicked out of the service.

Since it’s inception in San Francisco, Uber has alienated taxi drivers and car services alike. In some cities where Uber is popular, trips taken by taxi have dropped up to 65% and Uber is generally accepted as less expensive than traditional taxi services.

The main criticism of Uber has been the ‘casual’ nature of it’s service – normal people with normal cars – although Uber’s executives are quick to point out that Uber drivers require a criminal history check and must own cars in ‘excellent condition’ before they are allowed to drive, neither of which are required by many taxi companies.

We hit the BrowLab launch party to ask Canberra women:

“Would you welcome Uber in Canberra and would you use it?”

Ariane, Bungendore.

“My brother uses it in Sydney…but there’s always going to be the question of ‘is it safe?’ Especially for young women by themselves, but you feel in taxis too. ”

Bianca, Forde.

“I think it would be awesome because there’s a shortage of cabs and any more services would be fantastic.”

Yasmin, Weston Creek.

“Not really fussed on the whole matter…I’d have to hear a lot about what other [users] think of it because I’ve heard bad things and I’ve heard good things. I’d go with what my friends said.”

Teigan, Weston Creek. 

“I don’t know enough about it to have a view on it but I’d need some references from my friends before [I used Uber].” 

Gemma, Kambah.

“The only time I used Uber was in LA and it was actually really, really good. [Uber was] really reliable and more reliable than taxis because it is a personal service rather than a taxi service. They try to be your friend…I think [Uber in Canberra] would be good. ”

Photography by Hayley O’Neill. Interviews by Beatrice Smith. Feature image courtesy of Shutterstock

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Beatrice Smith

Bea loves that her job as HerCanberra’s Editorial Coordinator involves eating, drinking and interviewing people - sometimes simultaneously. The master of HerCanberra’s publishing schedule, she’s usually found hunched over a huge calendar muttering to herself about content balance. Otherwise you’ll find her at the movies, ordering a cheese board or ordering a cheese board at the movies. More about the Author

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Hayley O'Neill

Hayley O’Neill is a Canberra based fashion stylist and fashion editor for HerCanberra. Hayley works as a freelance stylist at Westfield Belconnen and Woden and began her career styling for The Work Diaries blog. Hayley has lots of experience dressing real people with every size, age, budget and body shape. More about the Author