Uber congestion in Albert St, Brisbane CBD. Picture: Annette Dew
Uber congestion in Albert St, Brisbane CBD. Picture: Annette Dew

Regulation proposal would kill Uber discounts

GROWING calls for tighter regulations on rideshare prices and vehicle numbers would threaten the massively discounted prices used to attract hundreds of thousands of customers, an industry figure says.

The Queensland Government is currently reviewing rideshare legislation that was introduced two years ago, with key issues to be considered including the number of cars operating on the roads, driver wages and prices.

A groundswell of industry bodies and operators are calling for the Government to urgently place stricter controls on the industry, to level the playing field for the taxi industry and ensure the sustainability of personalised transport.

The rideshare industry, which was legalised in 2016 to the shock of the taxi industry, currently faces no caps on the number of cars it can put on the road, or price controls.

In contrast, the taxi industry is one of the most tightly regulated in Queensland, with only 3257 taxis licensed to operate across the state and fares set by the government.

Taxi Council Queensland chief executive Blair Davies said Uber and other rideshare companies had been able to subsidise low fares to grab market share, and Brisbane streets were evidence the city was at saturation point.

 

Various transport options clog Albert St in Brisbane’s CBD. Picture: Annette Dew
Various transport options clog Albert St in Brisbane’s CBD. Picture: Annette Dew

 

"The Government could quite easily decide to not issue any more booked hire-service licences and there would be no community detriment," Mr Davies said.

The influx of thousands of extra cars in the personalised transport industry has also been blamed for adding to congestion and slashing the pay rates of drivers.

Uber Queensland and Northern Territory manager Alex Golden said: "Uber can help reduce congestion in Queensland by complementing public transport and by ­offering passengers the option to choose ridesharing."

Any moves to introduce caps on vehicle numbers or legislate minimum pay rates for drivers, as New York has just done, would make it much more difficult for rideshare companies to offer massively discounted fees.



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