Australian taxi startup GoCatch is going to be the first local company to launch an alternative to Uber X, turning its new service GoCar online today in Sydney.
The service will be available through the existing GoCatch app and will allow users to pick between GoCar or a traditional taxi booking.
GoGatch says the new service aims to improve the ride-sharing experience for both drivers and passengers, by paying drivers more and not charging surge prices to passengers.
“We will be cheaper than Uber X, with a base fare similar to Uber’s but with no surge pricing,” GoCatch CEO Ned Moorfield told Business Insider.
“Fares will typically be 30% cheaper than a traditional taxi in off-peak and 10-15% cheaper during peak.”
Moorfield said that their peak pricing will be 45% higher than off-peak rates, which is less than Uber X’s surge rates in peak periods which are typically seen at 30%-100% over non-surge periods.
“What we’ve noticed is that when surge prices kick in, passengers don’t use the app, so we think having off-peak and peak rates has a better advantage.”
Despite the service just launching today, Moorfield says he has an army of drivers already waiting to go.
“We already have a good core base of drivers, including Uber X drivers, who we’re taking a lower commission from than Uber,” he said.
GoCatch will be charging drivers a 15% commission rather than 20% which Uber charges, they will also be paying daily rather than weekly.
A new driver centre will also be opened in Sydney’s inner west, where driver applications as well as driver training and vehicle assessments will take place.
To qualify, each GoCar driver must have a car newer than 9 years old with insurance and up to date service history, a clean driving record, clean criminal history and pass a basic vehicle examination.
At launch, the service will be just for Sydney’s CBD, Inner West and Eastern Suburbs, however Moorfield said he wants to expand across the country.