UPDATE: Uber's Gladstone rollout a slow moving venture
NEW reports claim Uber drivers from Brisbane are travelling north to cash-in on a driver shortage following the recent regional rollout.
The ridesharing app's expansion to Gladstone was simultaneous with launches in Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Maryborough, Rockhampton and Mackay.
Reports to Bundaberg's NewsMail claimed Brisbane drivers were travelling four hours to take advantage of a shortage there.
It is unclear whether this has happened in Gladstone and the report remains unconfirmed by Uber.
A company spokeswoman said driving partners were not required to stay in certain locations and had the flexibility of being "their own boss”.
"It is not unusual for drivers to travel and take trips in other locations,” the spokeswoman said.
"Driver partners are free to accept or reject trip requests and to travel to new destinations to take trips.
"The flexibility the app provides is what driver partners tell us they value the most.”
Since the ride-sharing app's Gladstone launch on December 6, the city has experienced an obvious driver shortage.
But the company's spokeswoman confirmed "several” registered driving partners had already signed-up in the city and more were "going through the accreditation process every week”.
However, she said there were "no requirements for partners to be online” after registering, so an increase in driving partners does not necessarily equate to an increase in available drivers.
Moreover, while "several” Uber drivers remain to be seen in Gladstone, the delay may be due to driving partners going through the accreditation process which can take between 6-8 weeks.
Last month Gladstone's first Uber driver, Anitas Sujeevan, told The Observer he could receive between 10-15 trips per day between 6am-5pm.