Sunday, September 25, 2016

Uber Legal in Victoria: Are Taxi Drivers Happy?

Uber Legal in Victoria: Are Taxi Drivers Happy?

Flickr/Andy Smirnoff

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The Victorian government has already legalized the ride-sharing services of Uber in the state and has allowed taxi companies to set their own fares.

The scheme will also initiate a $1 “fairness fund” intended towards compensating taxi license owners. The Victorian Taxi Association said that the members were in complete doubt about the plan of the government regarding legalizing the services. “We were expecting an announcement in the near future obviously, but we’re not aware of much more than what’s in the paper this morning,” the association’s Chief Executive David Samuel told 3AW on Thursday morning.

The riding service was legalized in Victoria after a court case in early 2016. However, the state government enhanced the powers of the Taxi Services Commissioner, which counteracted the legalization. The proposal of legalization has sped up after the Victorian government and the Sex Party came into mutual agreement on how and what should be the regulation followed to operate the riding services.

An inquiry into the taxi industry headed by Economist Alan Fels was undertaken prior to the launch of Uber. He praised many taxi license owners for their good performance, which helped in the generation of considerable revenue for many years. He added on Friday that his report has recommended a hardship scheme, as not every taxi license owner will require compensation.

On the other hand, Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said that the government led by Premier Daniel Andrews was still making amendments taking into consideration the changing scenario of the transport industry. “We need to make sure the changes are fair to the industry, that they have appropriate protection measures for passengers and that they also consider the role of technology that we’re setting up the framework that’s flexible,” News.com.au quoted her as saying.

Besides Victoria, there are other states where Uber has been legalized. Some of them are as follows:

  • ACT (October 2015)
  • New South Wales (2015)
  • South Australia (July 2016)
  • Queensland (due in Sept 2016)
  • Tasmania (due)
  • Western Australia (due before 2017 elections)