The ride-share world was shaken up last month when Melbourne became the second city in Australia (after Sydney) to receive Uber competitor Taxify.
Taxify, which was launched in Estonia in 2013, offers a similar product and experience to Uber with a few key differences. While Uber users will find the model, interface and process of ordering a ride familiar, Taxify have designed their offering to challenge the US-based company.
Nobody likes to open Uber to discover that surge pricing is in effect. When the Melbourne train network came grinding to a halt during peak hour in July 2017 there were reports of Uber fares skyrocketing to nearly 400% their usual cost. Frustrated commuters called for a cap to be implemented on ride surcharges and it seems that while Uber have not adjusted their pricing model, Taxify have listened. Taxify have confirmed that their surge pricing will be capped at a multiplier of 1.5x (150%) and will not be applied within the first four or five months of operation in Melbourne and Sydney (with some exceptions for special events).
Unlike Uber, who charge 55c for each minute a driver has to wait for their passenger, Taxify do not charge waiting or cancellation fees. Taxify have also announced that in general, their fares are approximately 5% cheaper when compared to Uber.
Another key point of difference between Uber and Taxify is their payment policy for their drivers. While Uber drivers are charged 20-27% commission on each fare, Taxify only takes 15% driver commission, which might explain why over 10,000 Melbourne drivers were registered with the app before it even launched in their city.
Uber still have the upper hand when it comes to travel to and from the airport though, with dedicated Uber pickup areas located at selected airports across Australia. Qantas Frequent Flyer members are also able to earn Frequent Flyer points on trips to and from selected Australian airports with Uber.
With Taxify planning to expand to Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide in coming months it looks like Uber will have to watch their back as the new app on the block continues to grow across Australia.