Uber Elevate names Melbourne as its first international launch city
Uber has revealed that Melbourne will be the first international launch city for its upcoming Uber Air service.
At the last Uber Elevate Summit in 2018, the ride-sharing company announced that it will be expanding out from the US to one of five international markets that included India, Japan, Brazil, Australia and France. Taking the stage at Uber Elevate on Tuesday afternoon, Susan Anderson, general manager of Australia and New Zealand, announced that Melbourne and Australia would take the title of first international launch city.
“Australian cities grew outwards, not upwards” said Anderson. “The private car remains the dominant form of transport and congestion is becoming a severe problem. Almost $16.5bn in productivity is lost across Australia due to congestion every year.”
Whereas countries such as Brazil and India suffer from heavier congestion or lack the landing infrastructure of Japan or India, Australia – specifically Melbourne – is a booming tech market that is revolutionising transport infrastructure across the city.
Australia is also a core market for Uber’s car-hailing business. Since Uber launched in Australia in 2012, it has expanded to cover 37 cities, with 67,000 monthly drivers, and 3.8 million monthly riders.
Additionally, Uber’s food-delivery platform Uber Eats has grown from 100 restaurants to 1,000 since it launched in the country last year. Uber’s brand awareness in Australia sits at 95%.
Uber isn’t just working with the state of Victoria, it is working closely with local private companies including Telstra, Scentre Group and Macquarie Banks Green Infrastructure Fund to bring the service to Melbourne.
Additionally, Uber plans to expand the service to Sydney “shortly after” its debut in Melbourne.
Robin Scott – Assistant Treasurer of Victoria said: “There is a lot of open space in Australia, even in our cities. Overcoming the tyranny of that distance has always been tricky, but we are working to change that.
“In Melbourne, there is an unprecedented level of transport infrastructure being planned and built, there is a new trial around every corner. Now Uber Air is helping us.”