GoCatch Announces Australian Uber Rival: GoCar, Says No To Surge Pricing

GoCatch have launched GoCar, "the country’s first locally-owned ride-sharing service", in Sydney.

The service is available through the regular GoCatch app, and aims to "offer passengers and drivers new levels of choice and usher in an alternative to the unpopular surge fare pricing, favoured by other operators."

GoCatch said in a statement "GoCar aims to improve the ride-sharing experience for both passengers and drivers, providing much-­‐needed choice and convenience.

"Passengers will no longer be subject to pricing that changes constantly due to demand. GoCatch’s fleet of drivers will operate cars that are less than 9 years old and meet GoCatch’s strict quality criteria."

GoCatch CEO Ned Moorfield says it’s all about providing more options.

"Uber has had a grip on the market for long enough. Having a locally-owned Australian made ride-sharing platform will provide much needed choice and competition and hopefully, prevent issues such as the New Year’s Eve horror stories of riders unknowingly spending hundreds of dollars to get home because of surge pricing," said Moorfield.

"Instead of a US-based platform that is unable to accept the ruling of the ATO on GST, we will also make it easy for drivers to operate legally and effectively whilst paying our fair share of taxes. There will not be any restrictions from our end for drivers who would like to utilise more than one ride-­‐sharing platform to earn additional income."

NSW Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello welcomed the arrival of a local ride-sharing alternative.

"The NSW Government supports innovative business models that offer greater choice for consumers and promote competition. Last year we moved to legalise ridesharing services and it is pleasing to see new players, such as GoCatch, entering the market following that decision," said The Hon. Victor Michael Dominello, MP.

More than 350,000 Australians have downloaded the GoCatch app nationwide since its inception in 2011. GoCatch now processes over 100,000 taxi bookings a month, with more than 35,000 registered taxi drivers using the platform. Moorfield says the launch of GoCar will also create additional opportunities for the taxi industry.

"Ride-­sharing coexists with traditional taxis and in fact, research shows the growth of ride-sharing results in more customers for everyone. Street hails are still very popular, particularly in large cities like Sydney and Melbourne and will continue to support our existing base of taxi drivers whilst also expanding our service offering into ride-­sharing," added Moorfield.

GoCatch says GoCar will provide "competitive pricing for both drivers and passengers."

Fares are priced based on set peak and off-peak rates based on time of day and day of week, with peak hour covering morning commute hours Monday to Friday and evenings, into the early mornings on weekend.

Fares will be 20 to 30 per cent cheaper than a taxi off-peak and 10 to 15 per cent cheaper than a taxi peak.

Drivers are charged a 15 per cent commission versus Uber’s 20 per cent, and earn at least 10 per cent more on each job compared with Uber, GoCatch has revealed.

GoCar will initially be available in Sydney, servicing the Inner West, Eastern Suburbs and Sydney CBD, with more locations to be announced.

A new GoCar Driver Centre is also now open at 187 Concord Rd, in North Strathfield in Sydney’s western suburbs, to begin processing driver applications, training drivers, and assessing vehicles.

The process of accrediting GoCar drivers includes verifying the driver’s age and eligibility, vehicle ownership, registration, insurance and maintenance, a check of the applicant’s driving record and criminal history and a visual inspection of each vehicle.



    usher in an alternative to the unpopular surge fare pricing, favoured by other operators

    So, what's the alternative here? They've not really offered one up. It sounds like it's going the be exactly the same as trying to get a Taxi on NYE, impossible.

    Every time I've tried to use the gocatch app, my trip is rejected by the cabbies it is sent to and I get prompted to "add a tip". Conversely I've only ever had one Uber driver reject my trip.

    It's not GoCatch which needs to change, but the taxi industry. They need to start respecting the laws and regulations they want to be applied to Uber and other share-ride schemes before trying to use those same regulations to close their opposition down.

      Still not fun when your uber driver is 50m away and rejects your trip, to find out it's because they jumped to 2.5 surcharge and they want more money.

        if you have a trip request it's impossible for the driver to see that surge pricing has taken effect, unless they are running 2 phones both signed in under different driver accounts which would be highly unlikely.

        Last edited 23/02/16 6:46 pm

          It was pretty suspicious given it was cancelled as the driver could not complete request, I checked, and it had gone into 2.5 surge pricing, then I saw the driver pick someone else up nearby.

          Walked 10 mins and got another Uber without surge.

            The only thing I could think is maybe he'd been getting surge trips and when he saw yours came through as non surge cancelled so he could try for one on surge, which is shit if you accept a job you should take it. Uber does monitor how many jobs the drivers aren't accepting though but as with anything humans are involved with you're always going to have bad employees.

            Bring on the robot taxis, shouldnt be long now.

    At least with surge pricing when I want to get home with hundreds of others I get the choice to pay the premium. For the few times a year I go out I'll happily pay 4x surge not to have to wait in a taxi queue.

      So use Uber when you have more money than time, and your choice of any service the rest of the time. It's not like you're limited to one service, there are no loyalty discounts or rewards, no reason to take up brand loyalty.

        Especially with Uber, the only discount you'll ever get is on your first ride, and if you were silly enough to not use it, or use some bad $5-$10 offer, that's all you'll ever get.

          Advertise it in western suburbs, get some drivers and maybe give away some free cokes and an initial trip discount. Noone knows of gocatch in the western suburbs!

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