Uber declared a fare hike and an extra booking fee from June so it could cover "operational costs.” A spokesperson for the ride sharing service announced that from June 9, passengers will be required to pay a 55¢ booking fee per trip which will reflect on passengers' receipts at the end of every trip.
The minimum Uber fare in Sydney will rise to $9 from $8, including the booking fee. In Melbourne and Brisbane, it will rise from $7.50 to $6 while it will increase from $6 to $8 in Canberra. The spokesman for the service said they heard that a significant improvement Uber could make to the driving experience would be an increase to the minimum fare.
According to Uber, which operates as an alternative to taxis, drivers have been requesting for minimum fare rates to be raised. They will keep 5¢ to remit to the Australian Tax Office as GST and submit 50¢ to Uber. The percentage Uber takes from drivers depend on how long they have worked with the company, usually around 20 or 25 percent.
"Slap in the face"
RideShare Drivers United, which represents drivers, believed the fare hike was a step in the right direction. However, the group pointed it was a "minuscule one.”"Most drivers we talked to view this latest Uber increase as an insult and a slap in the face," the group said in a statement per Sydney Morning Herald.
RSDU argued that the base fare was still too low and left Uber drivers with take-home pay below the minimum wage. It added the fare hike was not really going to make much of a difference to drivers so the group was pushing for a $9 minimum fare. It further stated that if conditions would not improve, it would keep on lobbying for change, reserving the right to take Uber Australia to the Fair Work Ombudsman.
The latest announcement from Uber came after Magellan Financial Group fund manager Hamish Douglass labelled Uber’s business model a “ponzi scheme” last week. He also forecasted it would have less than 1 percent chance of survival in ten years.
Meanwhile, commentator uberxw reacted about the news on the UberPeople forum. If your trip is not of minimum fare, your income won't change and you will have to pay more GST," a Sydney resident said. Finder.com.au notes the minimum fare hike only applies to customers in major cities.
, Uber fare
, RideShare Drivers United
, Hamish Douglass