Transport companies are facing an acute shortage of drivers in Sydney as part of the city’s ever-increasing surge in demand.
The surge has left some drivers feeling left behind, with Uber, which launched in the city in July, facing increasing competition from rival transport companies.
But while they’re struggling to find drivers, the City of Sydney is now trying to fill the gap with a new fleet of cars that are designed to help transport passengers and freight to and from Sydney.
The new cars, which will be available in the new month, will allow the city to keep up with demand while also ensuring that Sydney’s taxi services can stay on schedule.
A transport spokeswoman said the city was working to “deliver new vehicles and services to our commuters in a timely manner”.
“The new fleet is designed to give drivers and drivers’ operators an extra year to meet the demand and minimise the impact on the existing fleet,” the spokeswoman said.
“New vehicles will be fitted with the latest technology and will also be equipped with a suite of safety and security features, which are designed with a focus on driver safety and public safety.”
She said the new fleet was “expected to be operational in September” and would be fully rolled out in October.
But Uber has been under pressure to meet demand from commuters, who are desperate to get from one end of Sydney to the other without a car.
It’s also seen the rise of rival taxi services such as Taxi-For-hire, which offer low-cost rides from Sydney’s CBD to the city, and Limousine-Rental, which can ferry commuters to work, restaurants and other destinations.
Limousine driver Josh Macleod said the rise in demand had been particularly frustrating, but the city had a “very big job” to do.
“It’s just been so hard on our drivers,” he said.
In the past few weeks, Limousines have become the busiest in the world for demand from taxi drivers, with the company posting record profits in 2016.
But Josh Maclaren, from Taxi-for-hire Limousin, said the company was in no hurry to expand, because it needed more drivers.
“[Limousines are] the only thing that we can actually take to work,” he told the ABC.
“We’re very much in the dark about the next six months, but we’re very excited to start this process.”
In an interview with the ABC, Mr Maclathans boss, Kevin McBride, said there were already a “huge amount of drivers” in Sydney, and he hoped more would join.
“I think we’re going to see a huge amount of demand from drivers,” Mr McBride said.
Topics:government-and-politics,city-and‐state,sydney-3000,nsw,newcastle-2300,sydney-2000First posted October 04, 2019 16:17:39Contact Tim O’ConnorMore stories from New South Wales