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Could Private Drivers Disrupt the Rideshare Industry for the Better?

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The travel industry is changing, and some stakeholders believe this could signal a transition away from ridesharing’s market dominance.

For years now, the rideshare industry has experienced astronomical growth, with many companies making the most of the ridesharing trend. But early signs indicate that ridesharing services might be set to make way for private drivers.

Increasingly, patrons are becoming frustrated with poor customer service and per-kilometre fee structures reminiscent of a taxi being adopted by many of the largest ridesharing companies.

While customers can leave a review to call out a bad driver, most rideshare drivers work across multiple apps and parent companies, where negative feedback can’t follow them.

And it’s not just customers who are affected.

Rideshare drivers are subject to heavy parent company commissions that mean many drivers are unable to earn a living wage. With little accountability and minimal regulation, it’s easy for major players to take advantage of staff.

So what’s the solution?

Drivers and passengers alike are turning to private drivers as a growing and effective alternative to common ridesharing services.

Ideal for big trips, private drivers bill based on time, not kilometres, cutting costs for patrons. Likewise, many private drivers charge a per-passenger fee that makes for a lower final bill, even on a journey from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast and back.

As legitimate business owners with plenty of crosschecks and regulations to comply with, private drivers are accountable for passenger experience on every trip. Honest, easy-to-track reviews inspire better customer service models.

[With private drivers], most trips cost the passenger a fraction of what it would cost in a rideshare, so it's good for them, and I am not paying the outrageous fees to the central app,” said Chris Miles, private driver, Brisbane and Sunshine Coast.

Instead, I run a real business, and I have control of what I do, and I do it well. So my passengers act as my sales reps through word of mouth. This business grows itself without the commissions and with far more job satisfaction."

Ridesharing has remained at the top of the private transport food chain for long enough. Now?

Industry professionals say that change is coming, with private drivers set to disrupt the landscape and bring more affordable, accountable transportation to the market, providing passengers with an easily accessible way to travel well.

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