New rideshare service coming to Shepparton

By Morgan Dyer

A new rideshare service is set to launch in Shepparton next month.

As part of its bold expansion into 20 cities DiDi Australia will launch in town after hitting the Melbourne market in 2018.

DiDi says as much of the nation eases COVID-19 restrictions and Australians reconnect after stay-at-home orders, the time was right to expand its service to make rideshare more affordable for more Australians and increase the earning potential of rideshare drivers following a time of reduced travel.

“DiDi has been resolute in its commitment to supporting local rideshare drivers, riders and the wider community since our launch in 2018, but particularly in recent times during this current health crisis including our service fee reduction, driver relief fund and introduction of DiDi Hero for our healthcare heroes,” DiDi Australia general manager Lyn Ma said.

However, Shepparton Taxis’ chief executive Stephen Armstrong said the new rideshare service would be no match for local taxis.

“DiDi will not affect us at all, as I predicted when Uber and Ola commenced operation,” Mr Armstrong said.

“All our figures prior to COVID-19 proved there was no downturn in business whatsoever.''

Mr Armstrong said his fleet of 13Cab branded vehicles offered the same services as rideshare as far as contactless rides and deliveries via their app booking.

“We are really thankful to the Shepparton community for supporting local cabbies and keeping money in our community,” Mr Armstrong said.

“We also have the extra security of CCTV and GPS navigation which rideshare do not have.

“Plus, if you lose property in a taxi you have someone local to contact,” he said.

DiDi said it was offering drivers and riders a range of “exciting and competitive offers” when the service launched.

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