Wollongong Uber drivers tell Sydney colleagues to stay away – feeling their turf has been ‘invaded’

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Frustrated Uber drivers in Wollongong have warned colleagues to stay in Sydney after a large influx of fares were ‘stolen’ in recent months.

The tension escalated following last weekend’s Yours and Owls festival, with some Sydney-based drivers collecting $500 a night.

Posting on the Uber Drivers Sydney Facebook group, one local questioned why so many out of city ride-share drivers are converging on the NSW south coast.     

‘Why do so many Sydney Uber drivers come down and ruin our Thursday, Friday and Saturday night?’ he said.

‘Sydney has over eight million people in it, Wollongong has only 300,000. Sydney is a massive place — there is lots of work up there.

‘So why not stay up there and give us Wollongong Uber drivers a chance to make a living when we actually live here and you don’t?’

The bad blood has been simmering ever since Uber was launched in the region last year.

Drivers based in southern Sydney suburbs such as Cronulla, Miranda and Rockdale quickly seized the opportunity and cracked a fresh market.    

Locals in Wollongong have been delighted with the increased Uber influence on the roads – previously the small representation meant fares often surged when attempting to secure a booking.    

In a statement, Uber’s Head of Cities Natalie Malligan confirmed their drivers don’t work in allocated shifts.

There also have no requirement to work in specific locations.  

‘Users are free to accept or reject requests that are sent to them and are also free to use other apps,’ she said. 

Uber users can also use the Driver Destinations feature through the app on their smartphone, which matches drivers with riders heading in the same direction. 

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