POPULAR ridesharing service Uber wants at least 10 more driver-partners in Mandurah to sign up to the app ahead of summer.
The company has a booth at Mandurah Forum until August 27 for those who want to find out more and is planning to hold 12 in-depth driver sign-up sessions at Mandurah Bowling Club over the next month to help new drivers kick start the accreditation process.
Uber says signing up will boost economic opportunities for local people and improve the reliability for riders.
Riders simply need the app to call a driver who usually arrives in minutes.
Debbie Stewart is the mother of an eight-year-old daughter.
As a single mother she found it hard to travel to work regularly in Perth but can fit driving around whatever else she needs to do.
She has been an Uber driver for 18 months and loves running her own business.
“Customers can see the GPS and know they are being taken on the most direct route but I am always happy to stop off en route wherever the customers want,’’ she said.
With the payment made by credit card before pick-up, no cash is involved and much of the drama is removed.
Debbie prefers driving at night when it is quieter and loves working from home, networking and meeting people.
“If I won Lotto I would probably still drive for Uber, I’d just spend some money on a really cool car,’’ she said.
People really appreciate that she turns up so quickly and women in particular are pleased to have a woman driver late at night and in the early hours.
She also is keen to see more Uber drivers in Mandurah. “If a booking comes in, say, from Dawesville and I’m in Mandurah it’s better to have a driver nearer Dawesville rather than me spending 20 minutes to get there.”
Uber WA general manager Tom White said it was the right time to boost driver numbers as the weather warmed up and people headed out to bars and beaches.
“Historically we have thought of Mandurah as part of the broader Perth market but we recognise it deserves greater focus given the size of the population and its distance from the City,’’ he said.
“The average wait time for riders in Mandurah is more than seven minutes compared to just four in Perth and Uber is keen to close the gap.
“With some of WA’s highest unemployment rates, Uber is confident ridesharing can offer Mandurah locals a great opportunity to get back on their feet.”
Mr White said 80 drivers from Mandurah currently used the app but many drove to Perth and back each day to get trips.
To mark the latest push, Uber is partnering with Peel Thunderbirds on a rider referral program that will help the club invest in local football.
New riders who sign up and take a trip using the promo code PEELTHUNDERBIRDS before December 31 will receive $20 off their first ride.
Thunderbirds will also get a $5 donation for every new rider who signs up and takes a trip.
Register for a sign up session at http://t.uber.com/mandurahob.