How you could earn up to $300 when Uber launches today

APP-BASED ridesharing service Uber is launching in Byron Bay today and already 500 Northern Rivers drivers have signed up to earn extra cash -- no taxi licence needed.

The foreign-owned company, which takes a 20 per cent cut of driver earnings, stated it will offer much-needed flexible income for local residents.

Uber offers "surge pricing" incentives, determined by a computer algorithm, which sees the cost to use the app rapidly increases when driver supply is limited.

So with hundreds of angry Splendour In The Grass goers waiting overnight for transport from North Byron Parklands recently, how much could an opportunistic driver earn on festival days when demand from cashed-up young festival-goers far outstrips transport options?

Uber failed to respond to questions regarding potential pricing during Byron Bay's peak periods, but recent case studies offer an estimate.

During the Sydney siege, when thousands of CBD workers needed to get out of the city, Uber drivers collected $100 for short trips. The company, which never intended to profit from human tragedy, apologised and offered commuters refunds.

According to a news Corp report, a Perth man paid a driver $332.06 for a trip on New Years Eve which would normally cost $37.31 because he accepted an 8.9 times surge price multiplier due to demand.

Uber drivers make 80% of their weekly fare total. Drivers in Australia have an average income of $35 to $40 per hour before Uber takes its 20% cut.

Byron Bay Taxis Operations Manager Jason Pitt downplayed Uber as a serious competitor.

"Byron Bay Taxis has always been operating in a highly competitive industry. There are too many competitors to count when it comes to shuttles, limousines and yes, even illegal taxis operating during holiday and festival times. Competition is an everyday fact of life for us."

"New competition from a secretly-owned foreign multinational that avoids paying its taxes, pays its employees substandard wages, takes all of its profit out of Australia and has no involvement with the local community through donations and supporting local events like we do will not be well liked by the Byron region community. Our locals and visitors are good judges of character and will support those people who do the right thing.

Byron Bay Taxis recently developed a smart phone app, which unlike Uber's was developed in Australia.

Mr Pitt said, "We would urge people who are considering driving for Uber to make sure they are 100% protected from claims by passengers and the NSW Government if they fail to meet adequate safety, vehicle and insurance standards. We would hate to see good local people heavily penalised for making the wrong decision."

Michael Kilpatrick, chairman of Lismore Taxis, said the ride share economy is unlikely to upset most local licensed taxi operators in regional NSW, particularly in Lismore.

"Lismore is an over-serviced area. Our response times are one of the best in the state. We have got it all fairly well covered," he said.

Want to share rides?

Choose your own hours. Be your own boss. Earn extra cash on the weekend.

If you are 21+, have a NSW Driver's Licence and access to a car that is 2007 or newer, you can sign up to drive with Uber! Visit our website at byron.ubermovement.com for more details.

Whether you're riding or driving we look forward to seeing you on the road.



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