Uber, the hire car service of the future, is testing a low-cost, mid-range option in Sydney known overseas as UberX.
UberX is the low-cost version of Uber that sees riders offered hybrid and mid-range cars inside the Uber ecosystem that the company assures have been stringently checked for safety and quality.
Uber customers with five-star ratings in Melbourne and Sydney are now being emailed to invite them to a private beta of the new features, which is being branded Uber Low Cost rather than UberX.
The cars on offer in the two cities for Low Cost riders include the Toyota Prius, Honda Civic and Holden Cruze. Audis, BMWs and Holden Caprice models are being reserved for Uber Black riders.
The private beta is being rolled out to 5-star riders and the top 10 per cent of the community.
Uber is telling its customers that at times, it can even be cheaper than public transport.
The full email reads:
Hey, You have been invited to test out a new, low cost Uber in Melbourne and Sydney.
Just slide left in your Uber app to select LOW COST, and you will soon be riding with another member of the Uber community in an economical vehicle such as a Toyota Prius, Honda Civic or Holden Cruze.
Rides from Prahran to the CBD could cost as little as $10, which is cheaper than a myki train ticket if you share the ride with your mates using our fare split feature.
UberX hasn't been available in Sydney before, leaving cities like Sydney and Melbourne left to choose between Uber Taxi, Uber Black (around 20 per cent more expensive than an ordinary cab) and Uber Lux (around 35 per cent more expensive than an ordinary cab).
A low-cost option had been made available to Sydney customers in recent weeks, with the company lowering the rates it charges to customers using Uber Taxi by 40 per cent between 10am and 5pm.