Perth has taken the lead in launching a new alternative to ride-sharing service Uber. Shofer-the on-demand taxi service started with a bang with 80 cars launched into the Perth market on Thursday. It also showed the gesture of not charging the riders with the prescribed minimum charge.
Passengers can book new service using an app under a pre-determined fare. Though Perth has been chosen as the launching pad, Shafer will also roll out from South Australia and other eastern states soon.
At the company’s launch at Langley Park on Thursday, Shofer director David Mills promised the new transport service to be timely though he was non-committal on being cheaper than Uber in the time to come.
Outwardly, it may seem Shofer app is operating under a model similar to Uber. But the former has more safety options and comfort of fixed fare, reports WA Today.
“I’m going to let the public make their own determination on that but we are extremely competitive when you look at the features you get in a Shofer vehicle compared to our competitors,” Mills said.
He said Shofer will never levy surcharge and maintain a fixed price throughout the year. Unlike Uber, the company has been licenced under the state government’s Small Vehicle Charter Licence policy.
Despite a $60 minimum charge required under its operating licence, Shofer said it will not slap customers that much. Rules mandate that small charter vehicles have to charge a minimum $60 fee for a charter trip up to five passengers. But Shofer claims it will charge just $6, reports The ABC.
But the Transport Minister of WA insists that it must comply. Some of the high points of the new fleet are up-front calculated fees, in-vehicle breathalyser for drivers, choice of a female driver and provision of a panic button. The drivers will use leased Toyota Camry vehicles and Mills confirmed that the app-based service would roll out an additional 140 vehicles soon