Taxi 2.0 service Uber now in Melbourne


blog Following the launch of next-generation taxi service Uber in Sydney in late October last year, the US startup has now announced that it has launched quietly in Melbourne. From the company’s blog:

“Secret Ubers are now testing in Melbourne! When you’re out on the town, coming home, or anywhere in between, Uber can take you there in convenience and style.

While we’re in “test mode”, you can request an Uber, but be aware that availability will be limited until our official launch. If you’re one of the lucky few that’s able to grab an Uber, make sure you shoot us heaps of feedback on your experience so that we can make our Melbourne launch classier than a Toorak dinner party. Just download the app for Android or iPhone, or go to, and if you can catch a Secret Uber, your driver will be on their way. If you’ve got any issues, suggestions, high fives or feedback, you can chat with us at or chuck us a tweet @Uber_Melbourne.”

I haven’t caught an Uber car in Sydney yet, but hopefully I’ll get around to it shortly. However, Gizmodo has posted a fairly comprehensive review of the Sydney launch of the service here, with the various ups and downs listed, noting that while the service is “fantastic”, it still has its issues. Have you used Uber? Post your thoughts in the comments below.

Image credit: Screenshots of Uber app


  1. My biggest concern here – (having worked in the taxi industry) – is licensing. To drive a taxi in Victoria, you need to hold a “Drivers Certificate” (DC). This certifies you to drive a commercial passenger vehicle – (taxi, limo, bus, etc).

    It involves going through police checks, and health checks; and needs to be renewed every three years – (and for some people, every year, depending on your health report). It provides a tracking mechanism for determining who particular drivers are when you are in a commercial passenger vehicle.

    It concerns me that the rigid procedures that are in place for the safety of the public, won’t be in place when you’re looking for an Uber.

    You don’t know who is going to turn up.

    • I’ve used Uber a couple of times, and all their cars are “HC” plated, which I believe means the drivers are licenced to provide hire car services. If it was a free-for-all, I’d agree, but in this case it is more like an on-demand hire car service. All the normal protections you get from a booked car apply here.

    • Michael, in Victoria ALL hire care drivers (whether they be taxi, commercial minibus ie stretch hummer etc, party bus, vha vhb, vhc, hc, sv, rhv) they all require a DC.

  2. They were running a great promo on Friday evening – free rides home from the CBD. I was pretty impressed with the experience all round – the car arrived in less than sixty seconds (although granted, it looked like it had been idling just around the corner from my pickup spot).

    You can see the licence plate and driver’s photo while you wait for the car, and you receive a text as the car is arriving. The cars themselves were great, magazines and TVs in the back of the seats.

    Although I scored a free ride, I noticed on the invoice that they round down to the nearest dollar. Little touches…

  3. Hey guys – I’m Uber’s Community Manager for Melbourne. Good points. All our drivers are licensed and vetted. We couldn’t do what we do otherwise :-)

    Leigh – glad you got out of the heat on Friday!

    • Hi Tim,
      I am an owner driver with a white E270 Mercedes. Am I able to join?

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