Our Rockhampton taxi.
Our Rockhampton taxi. Allan Reinikka ROK101218ataxiube

Rocky Uber and taxis go head to head

UBER has finally made its long awaited debut in Rockhampton and many people are wondering which to choose, Uber or taxi?

The Morning Bulletin put both to the test this week.

Both were given the same destination from 220 Bolsover Street to Norman Gardens.

Each ride was judged on punctuality, cleanliness, safety, driver interaction, journey time and price.

I decided to judge the taxi first.

After booking my taxi at 8.47am, to my surprise, my taxi arrived two minutes later at 8.49am.

I don't think I've seen a taxi this punctual in my life, but today we were off to a good start.

When I got in, I was greeted in a friendly demeanour and the cab was in relatively clean condition - in no way was it dirty or unclean, but it wasn't spotless.

The taxi driver was overly friendly and engaged in conversation. Not once did I find myself having to try and make awkward small talk or force conversation upon them.

My driver went as far as calling their base over the two-way radio when I had an enquiry - I thought that was superb customer service, I was really impressed.

The only (minor) problem I had with our interaction was a few F bombs dropped here and there, not that I personally minded in any way, however, I do know some people would not like this on their average taxi ride.

While the interaction was top notch, I do think the safety factor of the journey fell victim a little. The driver at times seemed a little distracted by our conversation when I feel they should have been paying attention to the road.

We arrived at the destination at 9.05am, clocking in at 16 minutes. The price of the journey was $28.04, including GST.

Overall, I had a great experience and thoroughly enjoyed my ride in the taxi.

The driver was punctual, the vehicle was clean, we had a great interaction and the journey time was sufficient. The price was the only drawback.

Our Rockhampton Uber arrives.
Our Rockhampton Uber arrives. Allan Reinikka ROK101218ataxiube

Uber got off to a bumpy start with me.

Originally, I had decided I was going to experience the Uber first and booked one at 8.34am, however, the trip was cancelled four minutes later. The driver was coming from Gracemere and it was going to take him 14 minutes to reach The Morning Bulletin office.

Despite continuous efforts to search for a driver using the Uber app, an available driver could not be found for the rest of the day.

Yesterday we crossed our fingers and finally a driver was found.

The Uber was booked at 9.55am and was only two minutes away. After triple checking I had all my items, I was out the door and greeted by my driver who was more than pleasant. We were on our way at 10am.

When I got into the car I could tell it was practically brand new, it was spotless - I was searching for a flaw.

While the driver was friendly, I had to work a little to engage in conversation. At the start of the journey the driver was bringing up conversational topics, however ,towards the end of the trip there were some moments of awkward silence where I had to think of topics to bring up next. Although in an average trip I personally don't really mind as I'm not exactly the most conversational person to begin with.

The driver, while engaging in conversation, kept their focus on the road, and I felt in safe hands.

We arrived at the destination at 10.15am, clocking in at 15 minutes, a minute faster than the taxi. The price of the journey was $16.85, which was $11.19 cheaper than the taxi.

Overall, I had a wonderful experience in what was my first ever ride in an Uber.

The driver was punctual and friendly, the vehicle was spotless and the journey time was, once again, sufficient.

For me, the two things I judge as most important when selecting my preferred ride sharing service are punctuality and price.

While both Uber and the taxi only had me waiting a couple minutes, in my opinion, Uber was the clear winner at $11.19 cheaper.

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