Uber ready to ride in Tauranga

Tauranga MP Simon Bridges, taking the first Uber trip from Tauranga Airport. He was picked up by local Uber driver Sue Blincoe. Photo: Josh Neilson Photography.

Ride-sharing app Uber has finally launched in Tauranga today, making the city the fifth in New Zealand to receive the service.

In December of last year, Uber put the call out for those interested in becoming drivers, and hosted information sessions with the community.

Uber New Zealand general manager Richard Menzies says the app will be live from midday on February 1, allowing anyone to request a ride.

He says there has been considerable interest in Uber in Tauranga, with around 40,000 customers from 76 countries opening the app in the city to see what’s available.

“The response has been really positive, we’ve exceeded our expectations coming into the market. We’ve had hundreds of drivers register their interest and start the process, and we expect to have dozens on the road within the first week.

“If you’re a new rider, we also have a promo code available to get $15 off your first ride: TGANZ15. Anyone in Tauranga who hasn’t taken an Uber trip before will get the discount, so it’s a great way to get people to try the product.”

Sample fares include $24 to travel from Tauranga Airport to the CBD, and $19 to travel from Mount Maunganui to the Tauranga CBD.

Richard also stresses that safety is Uber’s number one priority, and is built into every trip.

“Drivers have to go through a ‘P’ endorsement, which includes a police vetting check and driving history check. It means they’re accredited by the government to be safe on the road and offer a passenger service. In addition to that their vehicle must have a certificate of fitness,” he says.

“We also have GPS tracking in place so we know where drivers and riders are, and we have a record of who they are and where they were picked up from. We also ask for feedback at the end of every trip.”

Despite Uber being predominantly an online service, requiring only a driver, a vehicle, and passenger, Richard says it is being rolled out gradually across different markets to ensure it performs strongly from the get-go.

“For us it’s about making sure both our riders and drivers have a fantastic experience. So we have to make sure we have sufficient drivers to offer the service in a city, and that there is sufficient demand as well. That’s why we focus on going market by market.”

How do I use the Uber app?

  1.   •  Download Uber from the App or Android Store

  2.   •  Register with Uber in the app by providing a mobile phone number and credit card, debit card or PayPal details for cashless payment

  3.   •  Type in the address or name of your destination in the Where To? search box

  4.   •  Check the upfront fare estimate to ensure you’re happy with the price of the fare before requesting

  5.   •  Request trip and await pick-up from your departure location (you’ll see an estimated wait time in the app)

  6.   •  Check the licence plate number, car colour and name of your driver match the details provided in the app

  7.   •  As you open the door ask the driver to confirm their first name before starting a trip

  8.   •  Enjoy your journey and safely exit the car upon your arrival

  9.   •  Give your driver a rating out of five after the trip to help keep everyone accountable (they’ll do the same for you)


@ Murray

Posted on 04-02-2018 13:04 | By Told you

Well said,never trust an expert,Im with you,hidden agendas all over the place.

I am wondering...

Posted on 02-02-2018 08:46 | By penguin

...why Bridges got this publicity. Did he just happen to be he only one at the airport at the time? Was it pure coincidence that he and uber were there at that time? I am sure Joe Bloggs would not have got the same exposure.

Older Taxi Driver

Posted on 02-02-2018 06:51 | By Told you

We had to have, Full Medical Certifcate,Full Eye Test,Extensive Areas Knowledge,Completely Police Vetted,to be of good character and no criminal offences,accurate map reading.etc Full licence indorsements from MTA. It was not easy to obtain a licence to operate,so where are the checks today?

$24 from Airport to CBD?

Posted on 01-02-2018 22:19 | By austinz

That sounds relatively expensive for the distance travelled (5.5km). Recntly used UBER in Auckland to travel from Pakuranga Heights to Viaduct (17km) and it was only $31. Are we getting ripped off here?

So they are legal now?

Posted on 01-02-2018 17:10 | By geordnz

Funny, this from our ex minister of transport riding in a service that until very recently was flouting the regulations on small passenger services.


Posted on 01-02-2018 15:46 | By waxing

Why is Simon Bridges promoting/endorsing a commercial venture?

Don't make me laugh

Posted on 01-02-2018 14:59 | By maildrop

Uber is getting banned all over the place. Not surprising it is spreading here as they heard it’s a "great place to do business", aka little or no regulatory control or safeguards. Just means more idiots smashing speed limits whilst on their phone for their next punter. Great. Well done Simon.

Good luck

Posted on 01-02-2018 11:46 | By backofthequeue

My children use Uber in other cities so I looked into doing some casual driving for them myself. The cost of set up (P endorsement, COF, late model car, smart phone, etc.) makes for an expensive entry. Add daily operating costs, shorter travelling distances and Uber taking their fee of 25 - 28% per fare and I am left with the belief a driver would struggle to make a decent wage. For the Uber drivers sake I would love to proven wrong.

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