Uber -- the app based transport service that revolutionised the way we book and use car services -- has been making headlines a lot recently in relation to the effect it has had on the taxi industry.
While the legality of Uber (specifically the Uber X option, which is essentially private ride sharing) is still being sorted out, choice.com.au recenlty conducted a comparison between Uber X and taxis.
The site observed a number of differences between the two services -- looking into price, reliability and safety. They did so by booking a total of 56 trips across Sydney -- 28 UberX rides and 28 taxi rides. Trips were taken in pairs -- one passenger in a cab and another in an UberX, both travelling from and to the same place.
Choice reported the following findings:
UberX was cheaper than a taxi around nine times out of 10. Taxis were 40% more expensive than UberX on average.
On the three occasions UberX was more expensive, it wasn't by much -- and it was only when surge pricing was in place.
Of the 28 UberX rides, we encountered surge pricing four times.
Taxis showed up quicker on average. This, however, was due to the convenience of hailing one off the street; when taxis were booked they tended to take longer to show up than UberX. There were also two times taxis didn't show up at all -- pointing to an issue with reliability.
On one occasion out of 28, there was no UberX available (the rider caught the next cheapest available option, UberTaxi).
Taxis scored an average of 6.7 for the overall experience while Uber scored an average of 8.3.
The full report is available on the Choice website.