Taxi-booking app goCatch aims to help minimise weekend violence by offering cabbies a monetary reward for collection from certain areas at certain times.
Beginning Friday, 24 January 2014, it will be offering taxi drivers a bonus of up to AU$20 to collect passengers from areas they usually avoid between the hours of 1am and 4am.
This is to assist in the O'Farrell government's measures to reduce weekend violence, which saw an escalation over the holiday period. The results of the four-week trial will be reported to the NSW Minister for Transport.
"The Government, quite rightly, has recognised the significant issues facing this city and has taken action. We commend them for doing so, but there's more work to be done," said goCatch co-founder Andrew Campbell.
"What we know is that many Sydney cabbies simply avoid the CBD, the Rocks and Kings Cross areas altogether late on a weekend because of the recent trouble. They tell us that it's not worth the hassle and the aggravation. The by-product of that means that sometimes demand outstrips supply and passengers have difficulty finding a cab. That can often lead to other problems too. We have to find a way to encourage the drivers to return to the city and hopefully this measure is one small way to do that."
When the trial is over, goCatch hopes to discuss a partnership with the government to roll out an incentive package across NSW.
"We want to avoid another tragedy and even if this trial costs thousands of dollars, if it saves lives, it's money well spent," Campbell said.