Despite launching in the Illawarra only a few months ago, Uber is raising its fares.
The changes are part of a nationwide move to cover “operational costs”.
Uber launched in Wollongong on March 16 and has proven popular, particularly with students at the University of Wollongong.
What the fare changes mean for Wollongong riders is from June 9, they will have to pay a 55-cent booking fee.
In addition, the minimum fare will increase from $6 to $6.95.
As a result, we are raising the minimum fare in Wollongong from June 9.- An Uber spokesman
Coupled with the new booking fee, it means riders will have to pay at least $7.50 every time – no matter how short their trip.
There is no change to the $2 base fare, or the 30 cents per minute and $1.10 per kilometre charges.
An Uber spokesman said the company had written to drivers on Friday informing them of the changes.
“Following recent round-table listening discussions with our driver-partners, we heard that an important improvement Uber could make to the driving experience would be increasing the minimum fare,” the spokesman said.
“As a result, we are raising the minimum fare in Wollongong from June 9.
“Uber is also introducing a 55c booking fee to assist with the operational costs associated with providing a ridesharing service.”
It is understood Uber takes a 20 per cent commission on all fares.
The changes mean drivers will take home an extra 76 cents from a minimum fare – from $4.80 to $5.56.
None of the 55-cent booking fee will end up in drivers’ pockets.
Fifty cents will go to Uber, with drivers getting five cents to pay the GST.
In a statement on its website, Rideshare Drivers United said the changes, while a step in the right direction, did not go far enough when it came to helping drivers.
“Minimum fare trips make a very small percentage of trips in most cases,” the statement read.
“This very small minimum fare increase is not really going to make much of a difference to drivers’ bottom line.
“Most drivers we talked to view this latest Uber increase as an insult and a slap in the face.”