When it comes to Uber in the Illawarra it seems university students are the early adopters.
The popular rideshare service launched in the region on March 16 and the University of Wollongong’s main campus on Northfields Avenue and Campus East are two of the top five hot spots.
North Wollongong station – the closest station to the university – is also in the top five spots for pick-ups and drop-offs.
Rounding out the top five are two streets in the Wollongong CBD – Keira Street and Crown Street – largely used on Friday and Saturday nights.
Uber’s NSW general manager Henry Greenacre said it was unusual to see a train station as such a popular drop-off and pick-up spot in just the first week.
“While we probably expected to see a lot of activity around the bars and restaurants of Crown and Keira streets, it's been great to see how quickly locals have taken to using Uber to connect with existing public transport hubs like North Wollongong station,” Mr Greenacre said.
While Uber has a policy of not giving out the numbers of trips taken in an area, Mr Greenacre said “thousands” of people in the Illawarra gave Uber a try in its first week.
“We've had great feedback from first-time riders who are loving the access to this reliable and affordable way to get across town at the push of a button,” Mr Greenacre said.
We probably expected to see a lot of activity around the bars and restaurants of Crown and Keira streets...- Uber NSW general manager Henry Greenacre
Woonona’s John Krecichwost is one of the Illawarra’s Uber drivers and he said he’d picked people up from some of those hot spots.
He drove for a total of 13 hours over the first weekend Uber operated in the region and had 23 rides.
Mr Krecichwost said he found everyone he picked up was “delighted that Uber was here”.
His longest ride over the weekend was from Russell Vale to Warrawong.
He did admit there were some quiet periods during the 10 hours he did on the Sunday, which he put down to the fact that Uber had just started.
“At one stage there was a break of about 45 minutes between trips – so I just went home,” Mr Krecichwost said.
“That’s the beauty of it. I went home, had a coffee with my wife, watched a little TV and then I pressed the button and off I go again.”