The Queensland crackdown on Uber might bother the ride-sharing giant, but it is hinting that all is well and will stay put in operations using innovative ways. One “innovation” is the seamless addition of more drivers from the precincts of a thriving car leasing industry.
Resembling the old world taxi industry model, a new breed of wealthy cab-owners is letting vehicles to the would be Uber drivers.
The Sydney Morning Herald quoted a man who owns 32 cars that are leased out to Uber drivers at the rate of $400 per week. He claimed that most of the cars have been booked for three to six months in a row.
But the ride-sharing company sees no problem in such supply as the back end is flourishing thanks to liberal leasing. Maybe it hurts Uber’s image of car-owners sharing rides with passengers. But things are working out.
This is in contrast to the tightening of rules which made limousines and charter buses illegal in Queensland. The ABC reports how a law triggered by the Katter’s Australian Party member is targeting Uber and other ridesharing services with higher penalties on drivers and administrators for running illegal taxi services.
According to “Danny” from MMBB Logistics, demand lease vehicles from car-less Uber drivers is soaring. He owns a large fleet of vehicles approved by the company for ride-sharing. A simple process is happening–ride-sharing drivers lease a car and borrow a smartphone, and start taking passengers around.
Drivers also earn well even if they lease a car and still manage the costs of petrol and maintenance.
“I have got commercial insurance on every car. [But] at the end of the day you are not insured for Uber. No one is,” Danny said.
But leasing business put the name of the driver on the insurance certificate. This is despite Uber claiming its own insurance for every ride-share trip.
The ride-sharing online company has clarified that it has no problem in multiple drivers sharing a single car. But each driver has to be registered as they always monitor the number of hours a driver is logged into the app. That prevents multiple people from using a single Uber profile.
“Anyone who is 21 years or older, holds a full [unconditional] valid driver’s licence and has access to a four-door car nine years [old] or younger, can apply to become an UberX partner,” the spokesman said. Uber also has no checks on the eligibility of drivers to work in Australia, as drivers are not treated as employees.