Karl Stefanovic loses out to Uber’s ‘disgusting act’ as Sydney’s transport system collapses and ride-sharing app breaks silence
- Today’s presenter weighs in on transport chaos
- Branded rideshare’s response as disgusting
- Named ‘Australia’s worst company of the year’ by Uber
Karl Stefanovic has unleashed a furious rant about Uber as the ‘worst company of the year’ after it hiked its fares as Australia’s largest city’s transport system collapsed.
Sydney’s public transport network was thrown into chaos during Wednesday’s rush hour after the city’s rail system came to an abrupt halt for nearly two hours when the network radio system went down.
With a quarter of a million commuters stuck without a way home, fares on the popular ride-sharing app soared to exorbitant prices.
A booking from the CBD to downtown Marrickville was quoted at $77.17, while a job similar to Bondi cost $88.21 due to “increased demand.”
A trip across the Sydney Harbor Bridge to North Sydney cost $90, while jobs in the South West rose to $500.
The Today show host called the rideshare company ‘Australia’s worst company of the year’ on Thursday morning.
The Sydney Trains network came to a halt on Wednesday as frustrated commuters scrambled to find alternative ways to get home. In the photo, commuters wait for a tram at City Hall
“If the nation’s largest city, the most populous, is flattened by a massive train failure, it’s people already struggling with the burden of interest rates and cost of living pressures, Uber will step in and offer all of their resources to get the city moving again,’ began Stefanovic’s diatribe.
“Just selfless things. Well, not quite. What does Uber do? It sticks out hard-working Aussies.
‘And not a little bit. Trips that would normally cost $38 rose to over $500 yesterday.”
Uber has since promised refunds to customers who believe they have been scammed. But Stefanovic was not convinced.
‘Are they kidding themselves? What Uber did yesterday is disgusting!” he smoked.
Karl Stefanovic awarded Uber the title of ‘Australia’s worst company of the year’
Thousands of Sydneysiders were left behind after the train network came to a standstill. In the photo the crowds at the Central station
Stefanovic wasn’t the only one to slam Uber.
“I am absolutely disgusted that Uber has decided to take advantage of an unfortunate situation in Sydney,” said NSW Transport Minister David Elliott.
Queensland Senator Matt Canavan told the Today show, “It’s like asking a thirsty man in the desert $100 for a bottle of water, where’s the empathy of these big companies?”
“This is a huge business, it’s not little moms and dads shopping down the street — Taxis can’t triple or quadruple the price at events like this, so how can Uber get away with it?”
Uber insisted the company was taking a “proactive” approach to the closure, urging its drivers to get online and help commuters.
“As soon as we became aware of the train disruption in Sydney, we proactively communicated with driver partners to notify them of the increased passenger demand and encourage them to come online and assist in providing a ride to those who need one,” a spokesperson said.
“We’ve also put a cap on dynamic prices to ensure they don’t continue to rise as the disruption continues.”
Uber customers in Sydney said their usual journeys skyrocketed in price during the rail network shutdown. Pictured is an example of Uber’s “proactive” response to the closure
Transportation engineers have launched an investigation into the network outage to avoid another debacle in the future.
Sydney Trains CEO Matt Longland has apologized to commuters and said the system had never failed before.
“It was a faulty component in one of our IT systems. That part has been replaced and is currently working reliably,” he told ABC on Thursday.
“We will investigate the cause to make sure things like this don’t happen again.”