LAST week’s news that ridesharing service Uber is coming to Orange was received with something of a mixed reaction.
Some respondents to a post on the Central Western Daily’s Facebook page hailed the service’s impending arrival as a godsend, while others decried the impact it would have on our fleet of loyal taxi owners and drivers.
Besides being cheaper, generally speaking, Uber reflects our modern times and how we interact with each other via technology.
As an app-based service it removes cash, and waiting times are slashed simply because of the flexibility of drivers’ schedules.
Orange will benefit from its mobile wave of drivers during its major events, such as the recently completed Orange Wine Festival.
But Uber’s real strength is its system of self-regulation. Both drivers and passengers rate each other, which ultimately means that the system becomes an incentive for perpetual improvements so that all aspects of the service are optimised.
At its core, the service is all about quick connection between supplier and consumer.
What does this mean for Orange? As other aspects of our city continue to grow, so too must its transport network grow. That’s just common sense.
Uber says that experience shows demand is strongest during weekends and major events.
Orange will benefit from its mobile wave of drivers during its major events, such as the recently completed Orange Wine Festival, during which concerns were raised about logistics and the city’s ability to cope with the influx of visitors.
While many residents will obviously welcome the service with open arms, others have concerns about it being the downfall of taxi services.
The main objection, of course, is that Uber will take a hefty slice of business from taxis. That might be true, however, market forces are indicating that demand for a new kind of transport are high enough to sustain it.
Those preferring taxis would be best to generate ideas about adapting and innovating in response to Uber’s disruption, instead of labelling it as a negative.
(On that note, a tip of the hat to Taxi Cabs of Orange’s Darryl Curran, whose response to the news was that he was “confident Uber won’t be able to match” his colleagues’ response time.)
As with all things, those who embrace the approaching change – regardless of where they sit in this debate – will be most likely to prosper in its wake.
But only time will tell who that will be.
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