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ACT Government gives Uber the green light

By Charlotte Harper 30 September 2015 31

Uber websiteRideshare business Uber has the green light to operate legally in the ACT from next month.

The ACT Government announced this morning that it will introduce reforms to regulate ridesharing operators and taxi drivers/owners in a bid to provide Canberrans with safe, flexible and affordable ridesharing services while reducing costs for taxi drivers, owners and passengers.

See Chief Minister Andrew Barr making the announcement on Periscope here.

The ACT is Australia’s first jurisdiction to regulate ridesharing, and Canberra will be the first capital in the world to enable ridesharing to operate legally ahead of ridesharing businesses operating.

Ridesharing in the ACT will allow accredited drivers to carry passengers through services such as Uber. The government said in a statement that this would “improve travel options for Canberrans, reduce fares for the community through competition, and drive further innovation in the demand responsive transport industry”.

The announcement follows lobbying of potential customers and government by Uber and a three-hour taxi strike in the capital on September 16.

Uber campaign screen grab

The reforms will be delivered in two stages. The first, from October 30, will allow the regulated entry of ridesharing into the Canberra market, and deliver an immediate reduction of fees for taxis and hire cars. The second will include a customised CTP and property insurance regime for rideshare activity and further reductions in regulatory burdens for taxis.

Ridesharing vehicles and drivers will undergo accreditation and registration, including criminal and driving history checks – just as taxi drivers do. Vehicles will be checked for safety, and rideshare will be fully insured.

The ACT Government halve taxi licence lease fees in 2016 and again in 2017.  Annual licence fees for hire cars will also be reduced.

Canberra’s taxi drivers will have access to multiple modes of business, from traditional rank-and-hail work to ridesharing and third-party taxi booking apps.

The Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Transport Reform, Shane Rattenbury said taxis and other demand-responsive transport options were important for accessibility and social equity, and often relied on by those with special transport needs.

“These reforms do not change the current arrangements – the wheelchair accessible taxi service booking system and the Taxi Subsidy Scheme are unchanged,” he said.

For more on the Taxi Industry Innovation Reforms, including public submissions received as part of the community consultation, see www.act.gov.au/taxi-industry-reforms.

Will you choose Uber over taxis? Or sign up to become an Uber driver? What do you think of the Government’s action on this issue? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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ACT Government gives Uber the green light
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Skyring 8:46 am 12 Oct 15

geetee said :

Skyring said :

8. The big attraction for both rider and driver is that both can rate the other, and those with low ratings are kicked off the system. Ever wanted to give your taxidriver a one-star rating for going the long way or having a smelly cab?

My cabby the other night – having turned up a bit late – proceeded to give me a monologue on how bad a company Elite Taxis is and how bad Uber are going to be. I would’ve probably rated him 1-star but I’m sure my beer-breath and bemused reaction wouldn’t have gotten 5-stars either. I guess a couple more rides and we might both have been kicked off the system..

🙂

As a cabbie, I always expected a few merry passengers. At the very least, they were doing the right thing by not driving home with a few beers aboard.

Some of my best taxi conversations were with alcohol-affected passengers. (And, to be honest, some of my worst.)

I think I’d treat the rating system like eBay. If a transaction goes through okay, then it’s full positive. Five stars in Uber.

Skyring 8:37 am 12 Oct 15

rubaiyat said :

Skyring said :

I don’t like the work, or the return isn’t there, I’m not going to invest more time and money into something I don’t like or doesn’t pay. I’m not stupid.

Unfortunately many others are, or desperate.

My son went to the meeting and nearly all were Indians and looked down on their luck.

This is one of those slice and dice discount operations where the profits will go to Uber (overseas) and there will be a succession of people who can’t work out what it really costs them and the risks they are taking. Dismissing anything that doesn’t make what is a personally expensive transport method fit an under-funded business “opportunity”. In other words typical drivers.

We’ve seen them here lying to themselves about what it costs them to get from A to B, let alone what it costs just to keep their car on the road. Driving for others is worse, more than half the time they are driving from or to where someone else wants to go or be picked up, then have to make your way back at your own expense. The nonsense of autonomous cars, except you have to drive the unproductive kilometres.

The reason it has so much momentum is it is basic pyramid selling. Uber drivers get paid to rope in other Uber drivers. THAT is where the money is, until we are all Uber drivers and it then collapses.

I wasn’t aware of any Uber bounty system.

I wouldn’t characterise the operation as a pyramid scheme. However, you hit the mark on some points: Uber is an offshore entity and rakes in a profit off the top. Untaxed, as far as I can see.

And some drivers will certainly imagine that using the family car is essentially free, without properly factoring in the extra fuel, maintenance and depreciation.

Driving to pickup and from dropoff points can easily be minimised; an intelligent driver will, all else being equal, ai to “string together” the jobs, so that he picks up a new passenger close to where he dropped off the previous one. It makes little sense to return to some central point to await a fresh job. In fact, the app works against this poor strategy, by assigning the closest car to a rider needing transport.

dungfungus 11:33 am 10 Oct 15

rubaiyat said :

Skyring said :

dungfungus said :

Judging by the reports that 3000 people in Canberra are going to get an Uber franchise, have you considered that there may not be enough business to go around to support your investment?

1. 3 000 people have enquired about driving for Uber. Many of them, after attending the information sessions over the past few months, will have decided that the business model is not a good fit for their circumstances.
2. Others will not meet the documentation requirements, which are quite specific.
3. Others may not own a car less than nine years old.
4. Others may not pass the criminal history and driving record checks.

Those who actually pass through the various hurdles may find that they do not like the work, or they aren’t making enough money after paying tax, accounting for vehicle expenses and so on.

Those who find the work attractive will remain. There aren’t going to be 3 000 Uber drivers prowling the streets of Canberra looking for work.

Having said that, if they deliver a quick, efficient, pleasant and inexpensive service, more passengers will seek out Uber rides and the number of drivers will rise.

I was a night cabbie with Silver Service for five years. I left because my income dropped due to competition, and I got sick of spending twelve hours a night out on the road earning very little. I’m not about to get caught again.

Uber has a different model and I may find it very much to my liking. For example, I can drive whenever I feel like it. A couple of hours to cover the busy periods, for example, rather than stay out until three in the morning hunting work that isn’t there.

If I don’t like the work, or the return isn’t there, I’m not going to invest more time and money into something I don’t like or doesn’t pay. I’m not stupid.

Unfortunately many others are, or desperate.

My son went to the meeting and nearly all were Indians and looked down on their luck.

This is one of those slice and dice discount operations where the profits will go to Uber (overseas) and there will be a succession of people who can’t work out what it really costs them and the risks they are taking. Dismissing anything that doesn’t make what is a personally expensive transport method fit an under-funded business “opportunity”. In other words typical drivers.

We’ve seen them here lying to themselves about what it costs them to get from A to B, let alone what it costs just to keep their car on the road. Driving for others is worse, more than half the time they are driving from or to where someone else wants to go or be picked up, then have to make your way back at your own expense. The nonsense of autonomous cars, except you have to drive the unproductive kilometres.

The reason it has so much momentum is it is basic pyramid selling. Uber drivers get paid to rope in other Uber drivers. THAT is where the money is, until we are all Uber drivers and it then collapses.

Do you realize that you are echoing what I said in post #21?

rubaiyat 9:52 pm 09 Oct 15

Skyring said :

dungfungus said :

Judging by the reports that 3000 people in Canberra are going to get an Uber franchise, have you considered that there may not be enough business to go around to support your investment?

1. 3 000 people have enquired about driving for Uber. Many of them, after attending the information sessions over the past few months, will have decided that the business model is not a good fit for their circumstances.
2. Others will not meet the documentation requirements, which are quite specific.
3. Others may not own a car less than nine years old.
4. Others may not pass the criminal history and driving record checks.

Those who actually pass through the various hurdles may find that they do not like the work, or they aren’t making enough money after paying tax, accounting for vehicle expenses and so on.

Those who find the work attractive will remain. There aren’t going to be 3 000 Uber drivers prowling the streets of Canberra looking for work.

Having said that, if they deliver a quick, efficient, pleasant and inexpensive service, more passengers will seek out Uber rides and the number of drivers will rise.

I was a night cabbie with Silver Service for five years. I left because my income dropped due to competition, and I got sick of spending twelve hours a night out on the road earning very little. I’m not about to get caught again.

Uber has a different model and I may find it very much to my liking. For example, I can drive whenever I feel like it. A couple of hours to cover the busy periods, for example, rather than stay out until three in the morning hunting work that isn’t there.

If I don’t like the work, or the return isn’t there, I’m not going to invest more time and money into something I don’t like or doesn’t pay. I’m not stupid.

Unfortunately many others are, or desperate.

My son went to the meeting and nearly all were Indians and looked down on their luck.

This is one of those slice and dice discount operations where the profits will go to Uber (overseas) and there will be a succession of people who can’t work out what it really costs them and the risks they are taking. Dismissing anything that doesn’t make what is a personally expensive transport method fit an under-funded business “opportunity”. In other words typical drivers.

We’ve seen them here lying to themselves about what it costs them to get from A to B, let alone what it costs just to keep their car on the road. Driving for others is worse, more than half the time they are driving from or to where someone else wants to go or be picked up, then have to make your way back at your own expense. The nonsense of autonomous cars, except you have to drive the unproductive kilometres.

The reason it has so much momentum is it is basic pyramid selling. Uber drivers get paid to rope in other Uber drivers. THAT is where the money is, until we are all Uber drivers and it then collapses.

rubaiyat 9:39 pm 09 Oct 15

dungfungus said :

rosscoact said :

dungfungus said :

So, you are considering an investment of thousands of dollars in a business which may have a dodgy and deficient app that is essential to its operation?
Sounds like another ACT Government venture doomed to failure.

I think you’ll find that it’s not an ACT Government venture, rather the ACT Government is doing what governments should do, regulate. Given half of the posts here are about issues arising from non-regulation I would have expected the government to be praised. Est-ce pas?

I take your point but is an ACT Government venture as without them introducing the regulation it wouldn’t be happening.
On a side issue, what is there in the new regulations to stop me getting a bus and using it for “ride sharing” thus competing with ACTION?

The Unions. They were even against QBus coming into Canberra, even though I assume they all are in the same union.

geetee 8:15 pm 09 Oct 15

Skyring said :

8. The big attraction for both rider and driver is that both can rate the other, and those with low ratings are kicked off the system. Ever wanted to give your taxidriver a one-star rating for going the long way or having a smelly cab?

My cabby the other night – having turned up a bit late – proceeded to give me a monologue on how bad a company Elite Taxis is and how bad Uber are going to be. I would’ve probably rated him 1-star but I’m sure my beer-breath and bemused reaction wouldn’t have gotten 5-stars either. I guess a couple more rides and we might both have been kicked off the system..

dungfungus 11:01 am 09 Oct 15

rosscoact said :

dungfungus said :

So, you are considering an investment of thousands of dollars in a business which may have a dodgy and deficient app that is essential to its operation?
Sounds like another ACT Government venture doomed to failure.

I think you’ll find that it’s not an ACT Government venture, rather the ACT Government is doing what governments should do, regulate. Given half of the posts here are about issues arising from non-regulation I would have expected the government to be praised. Est-ce pas?

I take your point but is an ACT Government venture as without them introducing the regulation it wouldn’t be happening.
On a side issue, what is there in the new regulations to stop me getting a bus and using it for “ride sharing” thus competing with ACTION?

Skyring 10:04 am 09 Oct 15

dungfungus said :

Judging by the reports that 3000 people in Canberra are going to get an Uber franchise, have you considered that there may not be enough business to go around to support your investment?

1. 3 000 people have enquired about driving for Uber. Many of them, after attending the information sessions over the past few months, will have decided that the business model is not a good fit for their circumstances.
2. Others will not meet the documentation requirements, which are quite specific.
3. Others may not own a car less than nine years old.
4. Others may not pass the criminal history and driving record checks.

Those who actually pass through the various hurdles may find that they do not like the work, or they aren’t making enough money after paying tax, accounting for vehicle expenses and so on.

Those who find the work attractive will remain. There aren’t going to be 3 000 Uber drivers prowling the streets of Canberra looking for work.

Having said that, if they deliver a quick, efficient, pleasant and inexpensive service, more passengers will seek out Uber rides and the number of drivers will rise.

I was a night cabbie with Silver Service for five years. I left because my income dropped due to competition, and I got sick of spending twelve hours a night out on the road earning very little. I’m not about to get caught again.

Uber has a different model and I may find it very much to my liking. For example, I can drive whenever I feel like it. A couple of hours to cover the busy periods, for example, rather than stay out until three in the morning hunting work that isn’t there.

If I don’t like the work, or the return isn’t there, I’m not going to invest more time and money into something I don’t like or doesn’t pay. I’m not stupid.

rosscoact 9:24 am 09 Oct 15

dungfungus said :

So, you are considering an investment of thousands of dollars in a business which may have a dodgy and deficient app that is essential to its operation?
Sounds like another ACT Government venture doomed to failure.

I think you’ll find that it’s not an ACT Government venture, rather the ACT Government is doing what governments should do, regulate. Given half of the posts here are about issues arising from non-regulation I would have expected the government to be praised. Est-ce pas?

Skyring 9:09 am 09 Oct 15

wildturkeycanoe said :

“Ridesharing vehicles and drivers will undergo accreditation and registration. Vehicles will be checked for safety” – What does this actually mean? How much will accreditation cost for drivers and what of registration? If a car is already deemed roadworthy there is no need for additional registration, inspection or cost.

It means that Uber will check driver and vehicle documentation, as well as checking that the driver and vehicle match the papers submitted. No cost to the driver, apart from the time to go through the process.

wildturkeycanoe said :

“criminal and driving history checks” – more $$ for the government and possibly a barrier to those who have unpaid parking fines or a minor traffic infringement from a decade ago.

Uber is paying for these checks. Minor incidents will not prevent drivers from working, but things like DUI will.

wildturkeycanoe said :

“customised CTP and property insurance regime” – Yet another cash grab, just like our recently introduced no fault insurance scheme. What kind of property insurance can you get for vehicles anyway?
“rideshare will be fully insured.” – Do they mean additional to CTP and vehicle insurance, the customised CTP they are talking about above and the property insurance regime? Talk about making Uber unappealing and covered in red tape.

Normal vehicle insurance will be sufficient, but if there is any problem, Uber has its own insurance which will ensure the driver is covered. There seems to be some grey area – some insurance companies have stated that they are okay with Uber’s operations, others will decide per case.

wildturkeycanoe said :

Then we have this from the Times,
“Uber has received more than 3000 applications in Canberra” – What an awesome prospect, a startup business with a mountain of competition. I’d say many people excited by making a living from this will be sorely disappointed.

I’d say that many of these “applications” will not follow through for one reason or another, but yes, a valid point. We’re not going to see thousands of Uber drivers on the road all at once, and if the earnings don’t match the expectations the market level will sort itself out as those least committed turn to other employment.

wildturkeycanoe said :

“driver assessments and driver medicals.” – Isn’t everyone on the road at the moment supposed to be assessed already through the licensing system and fit to drive? If there is so much doubt about those carrying passengers for money, how about the rest of the folks on the road?

Taxidrivers have annual medicals. Uber drivers, I understand, will have a medical check every five years. Everyone should have a regular check-up – see your doctor.

wildturkeycanoe said :

“As well as having a zero blood alcohol level and being drug-free” – So everyone else who isn’t Uber can just DUI and get away with it?
“Uber drivers would be unable to collect passengers at traditional taxi ranks or stop in taxi, bus or loading zones.” – I can hear the conversation now,
“Hello, where are you?”
“Just trying to find a park in the mall.”
“I’m standing at the taxi rank right now.”
“Sorry, I’m not allowed to pick you up there, can you meet me in the Canberra Center, level 2?”
“Oh forget it, a taxi just pulled in.”
Dial tone…..

If you want to pick up your partner from the mall, where do you pick them up from? Uber would use the same spot.

dungfungus 9:05 am 09 Oct 15

Skyring said :

Skyring said :

dungfungus said :

What sort of vehicle will you be offering? Does Uber give this information on the app because I don’t want a Toyota Prius pulling up in my driveway to take myself, my wife and 4 suitcases to the airport.

You might get that with a cab. Quite a few Priuses in the taxi fleet nowadays.

My car is Prius-sized, but if Uber goes well, I’d be looking at something bigger for precisely that reason.

No, I don’t know if the app will let you specify what size vehicle is required for the job. Sometimes a passenger needs (say) a station wagon for luggage or a folding wheelchair or a bike or something that won’t fit in a small car. These things are important.

So, you are considering an investment of thousands of dollars in a business which may have a dodgy and deficient app that is essential to its operation?

Given that in six years of operation, Uber has made $US50 billion from this app, I wouldn’t describe it that way. Very few apps have anything like that level of success.

My own investment choices will be driven by data. If I can make the money to pay for the vehicle and all its costs, as well as compensation for my own time, I’ll make that investment in the interests of providing a better service to passengers.

About 30 years ago there was a pyramid-type scheme called Amway. It also boasted huge profits and many people in Canberra fell in hook, line and sinker.
Judging by the reports that 3000 people in Canberra are going to get an Uber franchise, have you considered that there may not be enough business to go around to support your investment?
I am sure there are plenty of ex-Amway dealers out there that know what I am talking about.

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