31/03/2016 - 12:36

WA firm to challenge taxis, Uber

31/03/2016 - 12:36

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Competition in Perth’s on-demand transport sector is growing, with a new local player, Shofer, entering the market today to battle disruptive giant Uber and the existing taxi industry.

WA firm to challenge taxis, Uber
Shofer chief executive David Mills.

Competition in Perth’s on-demand transport sector is growing, with a new local player, Shofer, entering the market today to battle disruptive giant Uber and the existing taxi industry.

Shofer will work from an app as an on-demand service, and will not compete with taxi ranks or on-street trade.

It is led by former mining industry player David Mills, of Mills Mining Supplies, who will serve as chief executive of the new company.

The company has bought a fleet of 80 cars, and will work on a franchisee system where drivers can lease the car from the company until purchase.

Entering or leaving the franchise is free, however.

It took Shofer nearly 10 months of negotiations with the state government to garner the appropriate licensing arrangements, while a series of investors, including some from overseas, have stumped up capital to start the company.

Within months, the leadership team plans to launch Shofer in Adelaide and then elsewhere across the country.

Mr Mills said a number of features would set Shofer apart from competitors.

Safety features such as video monitoring, a panic button, and an in-vehicle breathalyser for use before each trip are in use in all cars.

Fares and routes are calculated before the start of the trip, and there is no surge pricing.

Mr Mills also highlighted that the company had focused on setting up an arrangement that suited drivers as well as customers.

Shofer joins Uber, which launched in Perth around two years ago, and existing taxi dispatchers Swan Taxis and  Black & White Cabs.

Ingogo joined the Perth market late last year, offering a taxi booking and payment service online or via mobile app.

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