Uber, the on-demand private chauffeur service which has been actively expanding in Asia, has just announced that it has rolled out its cheaper alternative service, UberX in Taipei. The launch of UberX is the second rollout in Asia, following its rollout in Singapore last March.
Unfamiliar with Uber?
Before Uber launched its service in Singapore or Taipei, the only way for people to get around is through public transportation (cab) or by driving. If you do not own a car and want to travel by cab, you have to either flag down one or call for taxi booking services.
Uber has changed that: You can now travel in style.
Founded in 2009 in the United States, Uber provides on-demand private drivers to anyone. Need a private driver now? Simply launch the Uber app, select your pick up location, and a classy luxurious car will be on its way to you. You can also track the driver’s location so you are kept in the loop on his estimated time of arrival.
This luxurious experience comes with a cost though: a trip through the normal Uber Sedan is significantly more expensive than normal cab charges.
To solve that, Uber launched the cheaper version of its chauffeur services, UberX which offers users a more affordable option without compromising the quality and experience promised to its users. The difference is, instead of a black Mercedes S Class rolling up, with UberX, you will now see a Toyota Corolla or Camry curbside. And of course, when you’re finished with your UberX ride, the fare will be substantially lesser than what you would pay for.
Taipei’s UberX’s fleet consists of Toyota Camry, Nissan Cefiro, and Nissa Teana. Riders taking UberX will travel in these vehicles, while enjoying the same level of comfort and security promised by the Uber brand. Fare-wise, customers are charged a base fare of NT$50 (about US$2), followed by a per kilometer fare of NT$14.5 (about US$0.50) and a per minute fare of NT3 (about US$0.10). This is a very competitive price rate if compared to the city’s yellow taxis.
Similar to other countries of its launch, Uber usually invites local celebrities to be their ‘Rider Zero’, leveraging them for publicity hype. For the UberX launch in Taipei, Taiwan actress and model Serena Fang was selected. Serena Fang is well known for her role in the movies Drifting Flowers and Tears.
In Taiwan, Uber is competing alongside the rise of many other taxi booking apps such as Easy Taxi. Customers can choose to either book the normal yellow taxis using these apps or opt to have a classier Uber ride at a slightly higher price. With UberX now arriving in Taipei, these taxi apps are definitely given a run for their money.