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Follow our lead on Uber: Barr

By Charlotte Harper - 30 October 2015 113

Andrew Barr

Minutes after taking his first Uber ride in Canberra today, ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr called on his counterparts in other states to adopt his regulatory model for ride-sharing.

“I am calling on other leaders around the country to look at the ACT model and to put that in place across the country because it will enhance productivity, it will support innovation and it will lead to better outcomes for Australians regardless of where they leave,” he said.

Uber driver Ulla Brunnschweiler and Andrew Barr

Uber partner-driver Ulli Brunnschweiler was one of the first people to personally congratulate ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr on ensuring Canberra was the first capital city in the world to regulate ride-sharing.

“I’m proud to be a Canberran,” she said at a lakeside launch event for Uber in the territory. “This is true leadership.”

Ms Brunnschweiler said Uber driving was the perfect fit for her life because she loves driving, has the right vehicle, the right qualifications and experience for the job.

“And I can choose when to work and for how many hours.”

Uber

As of noon today, you can download the Uber app and book a rideshare in Canberra. Rival service On Tap commenced operations last night providing further competition for the capital’s taxis, though taxis will still have an exclusive role in providing rank and hail service and wheelchair accessible taxi services.

Ms Brunnschweiler is one of 100 registered Uber drivers in Canberra, with more to come as the Uber team work around the clock to complete background checks and add new drivers.

A printmaker and photographer, Ms Brunnschweiler traded in her old car for a new Mitsubishi Mirage and will be driving during the day to boost her savings.

Fellow Uber driver Peter Mackay said he would use the income to supplement his public service pension.

“I was a cab driver for five years but retired four years ago,” he said.

Mr Mackay would be be driving a silver VW Golf, “like everyone else in Canberra”, he said.

Uber Australia CEO David Rohrsheim said he was “super-excited” to be launching in Canberra that it has been a pleasure working with the ACT government to bring the service to town.

“The Chief Minister and Shane Rattenbury heard consumers, they heard 1000s of people asking for change, asking for a better way to get around the city,” he said.

“They came to understand what are the right safety mechanisms, what are the right regulations to put in place to protect consumers, and so they did, in a very fact based way.”

Prices for Uber trips would typically be 20-30 per cent cheaper than a taxi ride over the same route, he said, acknowledging however that fares do increase in peak times to encourage more Uber drivers onto the roads to meet demand.

Mr Barr said his government would continue to support this sort of innovation in Canberra.

“That is a very clear indication of the direction my government will take, wanting to be national leaders in the sharing economy, and on innovation and entrepreneurship,” he said.

 

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113 Responses to
Follow our lead on Uber: Barr
1
dungfungus 9:34 am
31 Oct 15
#

Ms Brunnschweiler is also quoted in today’s CT as saying she “will not drive at night – someone else can do that”. Good luck with that approach.
It is noted that she is offering a Mitsubishi Mirage and another person mentioned in the story has a VW Golf.
Both these cars are totally unsuitable for taxi style operation as the fledging Uber operators and their customers will discover.

2
Skyring 5:03 pm
31 Oct 15
#

dungfungus said :

Ms Brunnschweiler is also quoted in today’s CT as saying she “will not drive at night – someone else can do that”. Good luck with that approach.
It is noted that she is offering a Mitsubishi Mirage and another person mentioned in the story has a VW Golf.
Both these cars are totally unsuitable for taxi style operation as the fledging Uber operators and their customers will discover.

I reckon that Uber will make a media statement in the next few days saying that they have been swamped with the demand and more drivers are needed. $30 an hour during the off-peak hours, and far more during the night.

Agree that a Golf isn’t the best car for taxidriving work. Something bigger. Perhaps a Passat?

3
Masquara 9:24 am
01 Nov 15
#

Far more than $30 during the night? When they had a monopoly, taxi drivers weren’t earning anything like that consistently at night. Good luck trying to earn anything like $30 an hour between midnight and 7 am on weeknights.

4
dungfungus 9:39 am
01 Nov 15
#

Skyring said :

dungfungus said :

Ms Brunnschweiler is also quoted in today’s CT as saying she “will not drive at night – someone else can do that”. Good luck with that approach.
It is noted that she is offering a Mitsubishi Mirage and another person mentioned in the story has a VW Golf.
Both these cars are totally unsuitable for taxi style operation as the fledging Uber operators and their customers will discover.

I reckon that Uber will make a media statement in the next few days saying that they have been swamped with the demand and more drivers are needed. $30 an hour during the off-peak hours, and far more during the night.

Agree that a Golf isn’t the best car for taxidriving work. Something bigger. Perhaps a Passat?

As long as it is European and looks cool will be OK for Canberra.
The big mystery that remains is where are all the new destinations that Uber are going to take Canberrans?
Isn’t it a case of “all dressed up and no-where to go”?

5
Rotten_berry 11:49 am
01 Nov 15
#

Skyring said :

dungfungus said :

Ms Brunnschweiler is also quoted in today’s CT as saying she “will not drive at night – someone else can do that”. Good luck with that approach.
It is noted that she is offering a Mitsubishi Mirage and another person mentioned in the story has a VW Golf.
Both these cars are totally unsuitable for taxi style operation as the fledging Uber operators and their customers will discover.

I reckon that Uber will make a media statement in the next few days saying that they have been swamped with the demand and more drivers are needed. $30 an hour during the off-peak hours, and far more during the night.

Agree that a Golf isn’t the best car for taxidriving work. Something bigger. Perhaps a Passat?

Something Japanese would be a much better idea, without the overcomplexity, costly service and parts, and questionable reliability characteristic of modern WVs. The real taxi operators like their Toyota hybrids these days.

People might fret about the cost of replacing the battery pack, but that’s cheaper than replacing a veedud DSG transmission, and those break much more often.

6
thatsnotme 1:00 pm
01 Nov 15
#

Used Uber for the first time last night, and couldn’t rate it highly enough. While some other mates were stuck on hold with Canberra Cabs, I’d booked a driver who was 5 minutes away, saw him approach on the map, was in the car and gone. Trip from Tuggernanong to home in Belconnen cost $46 – a cab would have been closer to $70. Nice clean car, good driver, and when I got home could just hop out and go, no fussing around with payment. Will definitely use them again.

7
Skyring 1:45 pm
01 Nov 15
#

dungfungus said :

The big mystery that remains is where are all the new destinations that Uber are going to take Canberrans?

No mystery. Exactly the same places that taxis took them to at a greater cost.

If you need to get to the airport and it costs $30 in a cab, Uber can do it for twenty and be there quicker.

8
Masquara 2:09 pm
01 Nov 15
#

Watch out – uber have accidentally flagged their intentions by revealing that they will be higher prices during peak hours .You’d think the ACT Government would have spotted that Uber’s plan is to put the taxis out of business, then run a monopoly where anyone needing to get to the airport on time will be price-gouged. This is no win for consumers.

9
rosscoact 2:30 pm
01 Nov 15
#

Just checked my app. There’s one two minutes away (must be parked over the road) and two a few blocks away. Loving Uber.

10
Skyring 7:43 pm
01 Nov 15
#

Rotten_berry said :

Skyring said :

dungfungus said :

It is noted that she is offering a Mitsubishi Mirage and another person mentioned in the story has a VW Golf.
Both these cars are totally unsuitable for taxi style operation as the fledging Uber operators and their customers will discover.

Agree that a Golf isn’t the best car for taxidriving work. Something bigger. Perhaps a Passat?

Something Japanese would be a much better idea, without the overcomplexity, costly service and parts, and questionable reliability characteristic of modern WVs. The real taxi operators like their Toyota hybrids these days.

I’ve had my Golf for six years, and never a breakdown. Service and parts seem to be on a par with any other car.

NRMA shows total cost of ownership for a Prius to be more than for a Golf: http://www.mynrma.com.au/motoring-services/buy-sell/buying-advice/car-operating-costs/top-10-cars.htm#Small cars over

Prius taxis are a minority, even after a decade on the roads in Australia. Falcons and Camrys dominate the ACT taxi fleet.

11
Skyring 8:31 pm
01 Nov 15
#

Masquara said :

Watch out – uber have accidentally flagged their intentions by revealing that they will be higher prices during peak hours .You’d think the ACT Government would have spotted that Uber’s plan is to put the taxis out of business, then run a monopoly where anyone needing to get to the airport on time will be price-gouged. This is no win for consumers.

Uber’s “surge” pricing is no secret. During times of high demand they increase fares with the intention of getting more drivers out on the streets. Passengers are informed about this when calling an Uber car and must agree to the higher charges in advance, so it’s hardly hidden away.

Uber is hardly the only player in the market. OnTap, Lyft, Sidecar and so on are all able to compete under the ACT government plan. The intention is to gradually level the playing field so that all cars and drivers have to pay the same fees, have the same training, health, criminal and driving checks, pass the same safety standards.

You’d think the taxi industry, with decades of experience and local knowledge behind them, not to mention established facilities for training and administration and operations, would have an advantage. They already have the advantage of taxi ranks and street hails, an established reputation.

After all, there’s nothing special about a taxi; it’s just about driving a passenger from A to B. Do that simple task well and the passengers will naturally happen.

12
dungfungus 9:52 pm
01 Nov 15
#

rosscoact said :

Just checked my app. There’s one two minutes away (must be parked over the road) and two a few blocks away. Loving Uber.

So, which one are you choosing and where are you travelling to?

13
dungfungus 9:59 pm
01 Nov 15
#

Masquara said :

Watch out – uber have accidentally flagged their intentions by revealing that they will be higher prices during peak hours .You’d think the ACT Government would have spotted that Uber’s plan is to put the taxis out of business, then run a monopoly where anyone needing to get to the airport on time will be price-gouged. This is no win for consumers.

Canberra doesn’t have peak “hours” – possibly some peak “minutes”.
So, who decides when it is “peak”?

14
dungfungus 10:03 pm
01 Nov 15
#

Skyring said :

Masquara said :

Watch out – uber have accidentally flagged their intentions by revealing that they will be higher prices during peak hours .You’d think the ACT Government would have spotted that Uber’s plan is to put the taxis out of business, then run a monopoly where anyone needing to get to the airport on time will be price-gouged. This is no win for consumers.

Uber’s “surge” pricing is no secret. During times of high demand they increase fares with the intention of getting more drivers out on the streets. Passengers are informed about this when calling an Uber car and must agree to the higher charges in advance, so it’s hardly hidden away.

Uber is hardly the only player in the market. OnTap, Lyft, Sidecar and so on are all able to compete under the ACT government plan. The intention is to gradually level the playing field so that all cars and drivers have to pay the same fees, have the same training, health, criminal and driving checks, pass the same safety standards.

You’d think the taxi industry, with decades of experience and local knowledge behind them, not to mention established facilities for training and administration and operations, would have an advantage. They already have the advantage of taxi ranks and street hails, an established reputation.

After all, there’s nothing special about a taxi; it’s just about driving a passenger from A to B. Do that simple task well and the passengers will naturally happen.

You are correct to say the simple thing with a taxi is driving it.
However, to invest money in owning a taxi and then operating it as a viable business is not easy (as most of the Uber-enthusiasts will find out).

15
OpenYourMind 6:19 am
02 Nov 15
#

Skyring said :

Rotten_berry said :

Skyring said :

dungfungus said :

It is noted that she is offering a Mitsubishi Mirage and another person mentioned in the story has a VW Golf.
Both these cars are totally unsuitable for taxi style operation as the fledging Uber operators and their customers will discover.

Agree that a Golf isn’t the best car for taxidriving work. Something bigger. Perhaps a Passat?

Something Japanese would be a much better idea, without the overcomplexity, costly service and parts, and questionable reliability characteristic of modern WVs. The real taxi operators like their Toyota hybrids these days.

I’ve had my Golf for six years, and never a breakdown. Service and parts seem to be on a par with any other car.

NRMA shows total cost of ownership for a Prius to be more than for a Golf: http://www.mynrma.com.au/motoring-services/buy-sell/buying-advice/car-operating-costs/top-10-cars.htm#Small cars over

Prius taxis are a minority, even after a decade on the roads in Australia. Falcons and Camrys dominate the ACT taxi fleet.

The further you drive round a city, the better a hybrid is in cost comparison. You even see prius taxis in 3rd world countries because of their cheapness to run.

As for VWs, just about anyone I know with a VW has had trouble, especially with gearboxes, and if yours is over 100,000k, sell now!

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