It’s now been a year since Uber announced it would begin operating in Coffs Harbour.
It’s now been a year since Uber announced it would begin operating in Coffs Harbour.

Ride sharing giant Uber struggling in the Coffs market?

THE statistics show US ride-sharing juggernaut Uber has drawn in more than 1 in 5 Australians since its inception into the country - but in Coffs, it’s surprisingly come at a slow and sputtering start.

It’s now been a year since Uber announced it would begin operating in the coastal city but according to local Uber driver Greg Hancock, many residents are still unaware the service even exists.

Greg, 63, joined as a driver around four months ago, having moved back to his home town after running a business in Thailand for 12 years to care for a family member

He said for him it provides not only an income but the flexibility he needs in his situation.

He revealed he understands he is currently just one of eight drivers available on the app locally.

In February, the Advocate reported there were only seven drivers on the app, meaning there hasn’t been much momentum in recent months.

Greg believes the reason for the slow uptake in Coffs comes down to a lack of advertising, a generation gap, and a fear of the unknown.

“Most of Uber’s passengers in Coffs are actually younger females. I’m an oldie myself and I think with the older generation, they aren’t really into smartphones.

“Around here business just has to come from word-of-mouth.”

Greg said business can range anywhere from five to twenty trips a day, and a lot of trips are requested from tourists.

“The airport always keeps us quite busy, and whenever there is a big event happening there’s people needing rides.

“But I think more locals should be aware that Uber is in town.”

Greg added people can be hesitant to use the service for safety reasons.

“Safety is definitely an issue with a lot of people. But it actually takes a long time to become an Uber driver. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes.”

Earlier this year, research from Roy Morgan revealed about 4.3 million Australians aged 14 are using Uber in an average three months, with the rate have doubled between 2016 and 2018.