24 Sep 2015

Uber NZ marks millionth ride

8:59 am on 24 September 2015

Driver service provider Uber is marking its one-millionth ride in New Zealand this week, after just over a year of running its service in Auckland and Wellington.

Uber app

Uber app Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Uber's New Zealand general manager Oscar Peppitt said far from gutting the local taxi industry, the company was increasing the size of the passenger market as more people moved away from car ownership.

"Uber is a complement to the transport mix. Taxis perform street hails, and they wait on ranks. Uber doesn't do either of those things. So we believe we're growing the pie. We've got a lot of evidence to support that."

The corporate sector was one market that was beginning to grow, with Uber offering business accounts for firms that their employees can use, Mr Peppitt said.

"The uptake has been fantastic. We've had lots and lots of Kiwi businesses shifting their transport spend to Uber."

Uber was looking to expand into Christchurch and other centres, but there were barriers to entry, particularly licensing fees, which were too expensive for operators in provincial and rural areas, Mr Peppitt said.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs