All Aboard! The Ridesharing Revolution Hits Airports in Australia

06 July 2016

Up until recently, airport pickups had been the sole domain of taxi drivers, and the final frontier for ridesharing operators wanting to tap into the lucrative airport transfer market. Passengers were able to flag a ride to the airport, but were restricted to long taxi queues and crowded pickup zones when trying to get to their destination.

But following Sydney Airport’s decision to accommodate ridesharing services with a dedicated pickup zone, Serko can now offer a fixed fare of $35 to the CBD using the GPU Ride service – that’s less than a licensed taxi! 

As the first state in Australia to legalise ridesharing, New South Wales is now also the first to allow two-way airport transfers with these operators, with Sydney Airport creating a new dedicated pick up zone at both the international and domestic terminals.

“In response to the huge demand for Uber X at Sydney Airport, we have opened functionality in the app for driver-partners to pick up riders from the airport,” the company said in a statement.

Sydney Airport said it was open to services like GPU Ride.

“(We are) currently developing new arrangements to accommodate all booked service operators at the airport, including ride sharing services such as Uber, as well as limousines and pre-booked taxis,” an airport spokeswoman said.

The announcement follows the launch of Serko’s new GPU Ride service in partnership with Australian company Get Picked Up, which can be booked through Serko Online and offers users a significantly cheaper alternative to Private Hire vehicles and licensed taxis.

By using private cars rather than Private Hire vehicles, GPU Ride allows Serko customers to pre-book and pre-pay for a Sydney CBD to Airport transfer for a fixed fare of $35 compared to an average of $47 in a licensed taxi – a service that will now be available for airport pickups as well.

For corporate travellers, the ability to pre-book and pre-pay for their airport transfer also provides piece of mind that their ride will be ready when they need it, which is not guaranteed when booking traditional ridesharing services.

Darrin Grafton, Serko CEO said “Traditional ride-sharing services, like Uber X, can be problematic for business travellers getting to and from the airport, as they don’t allow pre-booking or pre-payment. With Uber services, they can only be booked at the moment you are ready to travel.”

“GPU Ride targets the business market directly with pre-booking, pre-payment and pre-approval via Serko Online. It gives organisations all of the price benefits of traditional ride-sharing, with the predictability and convenience of a Private Hire service,” he said.

GPU Ride is now also available in South Australia following recent changes in the state’s ridesharing laws, with the service expected to be rolled out nationwide over the next few months as other states align their regulations with New South Wales and South Australia.

To learn more about GPU Ride and how it can help your business save, visit serko.com. GPU Ride will also be available on Serko's new SME tool, serko.travel, due for launch in July.

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