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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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chewy14 1:37 pm 07 Jan 16

wildturkeycanoe said :

chewy14 said :

I think it’s unfair to pay $90 a kilo for high quality Wagyu beef steaks. I’m sure you’ll support me in petitioning the government to regulate and subsidise my choice to eat them right? How about a bottle of Grange whilst we’re at it? I mean I can buy a cask of goon for $10. How can they possibly justify charging $500+ per bottle. Outrageous.

Your comparisons make no sense. A bottle of Grange is always that much because it is high quality. It never gets cheaper due to a lack of demand. Likewise for any expensive product compared to cheap knock-offs. When you book an uber ride, you are getting the same cheap car that yesterday cost only $20 but now charges you hundreds. If the car suddenly turned into a limousine there’d be no complaints as you pay for what you get, but to have to fork out so much for the same thing but just at a different time is unscrupulous. Yes, fine, extortion wasn’t the right word.
All the supporters of the fare increases here keep saying that the patrons knew what the fare was before entering the vehicle, which I am sure was the case. However, for those saying that prior planning should have been done to avoid fare shock, do you realise that you cannot get an estimate of the fare hours before booking the ride? It is only an estimate for the particular time of the enquiry, so if I were to try and see what it would cost to come home from Skyfire, it would be impossible until I was standing at the roadside at the event at 10PM. At least with taxis you can have an idea of the cost weeks or even months in advance, but uber’s price could be anything from $20 to $500, you just cannot predict. If the surge pricing model was adopted for other industries, boy would there be some unhappy people. Just imagine your pizza cost being multiplied on busy days. Imagine ordering on line and never knowing how much it will cost to be home delivered. What if you went to fill your car with petrol and all of a sudden it went from $1.30 to $7 per litre because it was a long weekend.
In my mind, there is justification for a surge price at certain times, but the multiplication factors are way over the top and simply an unfair money grab from customers who have little alternative. When taxis go the way of the dodo and Uber has the monopoly a 9.9x surge multiplier will seem like small change and you’ll need a personal loan to get home from the pub.

Actually my examples are perfect. Who says that Grange is high quality? The market. It’s only that expensive because it is in such constant demand. The surge multiplier is constantly being attached. You used to be able to pick it up much cheaper and when it was first made it was considered poor wine and they stopped Max Shubert from making it. The values also flucuate quite a lot from year to year, it isn’t charged at a static price.

As I said, there’s plenty of alternatives for Uber, if you don’t want to take the risk of a variable fare, catch a taxi, public transport, drive yourself, have a friend drive etc, etc. You aren’t forced to use them.

And yes, I would love it if more products were charged at their true value based on supply and demand. It would allow savvy consumers to save lots of money by planning their consumption and drive efficiencies in the product delivery due to competition. It’s exactly how the market works when it’s working correctly.

chewy14 1:30 pm 07 Jan 16

rubaiyat said :

dungfungus said :

rubaiyat said :

dungfungus said :

Masquara said :

It turns out that Uber were charging $700 for a trip home on New Year’s Eve in Sydney. Spread that out over your taxi use over a year and I suspect the taxis will work out cheaper overall. Seriously, as soon as they have the market to themselves, don’t expect Uber to do anything other than price-gouge. I won’t be going near them.

So, who were the idiots that allowed this gouging to happen in NSW?
I am confident our leaders in the ACT won’t let it happen here – they are smarter than these Uber people, aren’t they?

What do you mean “allowed”?

This is the free market at work, the conditions are set under the terms of the Uber agreement. Usually that translates into a tax on stupidity, collected at the credit card clearing house. Stupidity carries with it the highest tax rate of any tax, unfortunately not always charged to those providing this prodigiously plentiful and readily available commodity.

Another reason why Uber should run the buses and trams in the ACT.
Fares could be structured on supply and demand and the real cost of running public transport could become exclusively a “user pays” one.

Whilst we are at it, now that we have electronic eTags, all cars can pay for the real cost of roads by usage.

I’ll happily pay for my share of the single vehicle bus or tram distributed amongst all the occupants so long as the single occupant occupying swathes of road pays for theirs.

Any problem with charging for ALL the damage caused by the vehicle as well? Why should someone, somewhere not causing the problem have to pick up the bill?

Rubyait,

I fully agree with your above post. We should have usage charges and tolls on more of our roads to drive efficient investment in transport. Particularly peak usage charges to drive that change.

HenryBG 1:10 pm 07 Jan 16

wildturkeycanoe said :

A bottle of Grange is always that much because it is high quality.

…cough…cough…. No it isn’t. It’s that price due to marketing and what’s written on the label.
I don’t even know if Penfolds has had the guts to submit its mass-produced random-grape Grange to any wineshow in the last 3 decades. You can be sure many $50 bottles of wine are way better than many Grange vintages.

This is about the free market. The seller asks a price, and the buyer has the choice of whether to buy or not. The price will reach a level as dictated by supply and demand.
Demand for Grange at the prices that are being asked should be nil, but luckily for purveryors of over-priced goods and services with slick marketing strategies we have free choice in this country.
If people don’t like it, they could try North Korea. Or commonsense.

rubaiyat 11:48 am 07 Jan 16

What I don’t get is, that I know Uber is supposed to fix everything and save everyone enormous amounts of money, but why didn’t all these people just get in an autonomous car?

These are all REAL solutions other than the obviously impossible to take Public Transport the government laid on for the revelers, and God Forbid!, walking!

wildturkeycanoe 6:58 am 07 Jan 16

chewy14 said :

I think it’s unfair to pay $90 a kilo for high quality Wagyu beef steaks. I’m sure you’ll support me in petitioning the government to regulate and subsidise my choice to eat them right? How about a bottle of Grange whilst we’re at it? I mean I can buy a cask of goon for $10. How can they possibly justify charging $500+ per bottle. Outrageous.

Your comparisons make no sense. A bottle of Grange is always that much because it is high quality. It never gets cheaper due to a lack of demand. Likewise for any expensive product compared to cheap knock-offs. When you book an uber ride, you are getting the same cheap car that yesterday cost only $20 but now charges you hundreds. If the car suddenly turned into a limousine there’d be no complaints as you pay for what you get, but to have to fork out so much for the same thing but just at a different time is unscrupulous. Yes, fine, extortion wasn’t the right word.
All the supporters of the fare increases here keep saying that the patrons knew what the fare was before entering the vehicle, which I am sure was the case. However, for those saying that prior planning should have been done to avoid fare shock, do you realise that you cannot get an estimate of the fare hours before booking the ride? It is only an estimate for the particular time of the enquiry, so if I were to try and see what it would cost to come home from Skyfire, it would be impossible until I was standing at the roadside at the event at 10PM. At least with taxis you can have an idea of the cost weeks or even months in advance, but uber’s price could be anything from $20 to $500, you just cannot predict. If the surge pricing model was adopted for other industries, boy would there be some unhappy people. Just imagine your pizza cost being multiplied on busy days. Imagine ordering on line and never knowing how much it will cost to be home delivered. What if you went to fill your car with petrol and all of a sudden it went from $1.30 to $7 per litre because it was a long weekend.
In my mind, there is justification for a surge price at certain times, but the multiplication factors are way over the top and simply an unfair money grab from customers who have little alternative. When taxis go the way of the dodo and Uber has the monopoly a 9.9x surge multiplier will seem like small change and you’ll need a personal loan to get home from the pub.

creative_canberran 6:40 pm 06 Jan 16

wildturkeycanoe said :

Emergency call out fees are not charged at up to 9.9x the usual rate, nor is any other service I can think of. Supply and demand are one thing, but imagine if your mobile call rates were bumped up 900% during Xmas, or your internet was charged similarly in the evenings and on weekends. Did McDonalds increase their 50c cones to $5.00 on NYE? Did your electricity go up 9x during peak hours? No. The only “business” that has seen fit to put a steep sliding scale on their rates is Uber.

And every hotel and restaurant in Sydney on NYE, whose rooms went from $250 to sometimes four digits.

wildturkeycanoe said :

I don’t think ripping somebody off by $700 for a 20 minute ride is anything short of extortion.

‘Extortion’ – (noun)
The practice of obtaining something, especially money, through force or threats:

What force was used or threat made? People chose Uber when Buses, trains, taxis and other hire car services were available. If Uber wants to try this high pricing on with some users, they should be smart enough to say no and Uber will get the message. If they’re not, then all the more for Uber shareholders.

dungfungus 5:19 pm 06 Jan 16

JessP said :

Dungfungus, wildturkeycanoe, chewy14, Masquara

You gents ever tried to book an air fare at the last minute?? Fares can be inflated (although they can be inflated all the time if you live in Canberra). You have a choice at that stage and you can choose to accept the fare or not.

Uber is the same from what I can see. Up front you are told what the loading is….if you don’t want to pay it, don’t use Uber.

“…..ever tried to book an air fare at the last minute…..”
In my experiences they are never inflated but usually discounted, especially if you are seeking to upgrade.
If I owned a cab/hire car and I knew I would only have drunks for customers at a particular time I would ask for a surcharge to cover the clean-up costs in case one of the passengers barfed en-route.

rubaiyat 4:24 pm 06 Jan 16

dungfungus said :

rubaiyat said :

dungfungus said :

Masquara said :

It turns out that Uber were charging $700 for a trip home on New Year’s Eve in Sydney. Spread that out over your taxi use over a year and I suspect the taxis will work out cheaper overall. Seriously, as soon as they have the market to themselves, don’t expect Uber to do anything other than price-gouge. I won’t be going near them.

So, who were the idiots that allowed this gouging to happen in NSW?
I am confident our leaders in the ACT won’t let it happen here – they are smarter than these Uber people, aren’t they?

What do you mean “allowed”?

This is the free market at work, the conditions are set under the terms of the Uber agreement. Usually that translates into a tax on stupidity, collected at the credit card clearing house. Stupidity carries with it the highest tax rate of any tax, unfortunately not always charged to those providing this prodigiously plentiful and readily available commodity.

Another reason why Uber should run the buses and trams in the ACT.
Fares could be structured on supply and demand and the real cost of running public transport could become exclusively a “user pays” one.

Whilst we are at it, now that we have electronic eTags, all cars can pay for the real cost of roads by usage.

I’ll happily pay for my share of the single vehicle bus or tram distributed amongst all the occupants so long as the single occupant occupying swathes of road pays for theirs.

Any problem with charging for ALL the damage caused by the vehicle as well? Why should someone, somewhere not causing the problem have to pick up the bill?

chewy14 2:49 pm 06 Jan 16

wildturkeycanoe said :

chewy14 said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

chewy14 said :

Masquara said :

It turns out that Uber were charging $700 for a trip home on New Year’s Eve in Sydney. Spread that out over your taxi use over a year and I suspect the taxis will work out cheaper overall. Seriously, as soon as they have the market to themselves, don’t expect Uber to do anything other than price-gouge. I won’t be going near them.

For a couple of hours on one night during the absolute peak, not for “a trip home on New Years Eve”.

Honestly, is it really that hard to plan your trip ahead so you didn’t need to travel at that exact time? That you could wait out the price surcharge period? And if you do have to travel at that exact time, surely pre-organising a hire car would be much cheaper.

No sympathy for people who can’t plan ahead or read what they sign up for.

How would one drive a hire car home from NYE celebrations when inebriated? Where would one park the car that is close to the city center? That is why people get Uber and taxi services home. They are not going to wait until 6:30 on new year’s day to go home after staying up all night.
I don’t think ripping somebody off by $700 for a 20 minute ride is anything short of extortion. If a supermarket was to increase the cost of alcohol on NYE or indeed any other public holiday or convenient date just because they can, there’d be a whole lot more scrutiny than what is being done to these dodgy operators.

I was talking about a chauffeured hire car, like this:
http://canberrahc.com.au/

And no one was “ripped off”, they freely agreed to a price for a service that was in extremely high demand when there was extremely low supply. It’s the free market at work.

Ever tried to get a tradie over on the holidays or for an emergency?

Think it’s reasonable that they charge an emergency call out fee? Or is that a rip off too?

Emergency call out fees are not charged at up to 9.9x the usual rate, nor is any other service I can think of. Supply and demand are one thing, but imagine if your mobile call rates were bumped up 900% during Xmas, or your internet was charged similarly in the evenings and on weekends. Did McDonalds increase their 50c cones to $5.00 on NYE? Did your electricity go up 9x during peak hours? No. The only “business” that has seen fit to put a steep sliding scale on their rates is Uber.

Emergency call out fees are charged at whatever the market will bear. I’ve paid $500 for what really is $50 worth of work before because of the need for specialist equipment.
If supply is low for any of those other services, I would expect the price to rise similarly.

The fact that electricity prices aren’t correctly charged for peak periods is the main reason that are electricity prices are so high over all. We actually pay more because they can’t charge people adequate amounts during these periods to drive effiiciencies.

You do realise that there is no one holding a gun to your head and forcing you to use Uber? They are a private company, if you don’t like them, there are plenty of alternatives.

I think it’s unfair to pay $90 a kilo for high quality Wagyu beef steaks. I’m sure you’ll support me in petitioning the government to regulate and subsidise my choice to eat them right? How about a bottle of Grange whilst we’re at it? I mean I can buy a cask of goon for $10. How can they possibly justify charging $500+ per bottle. Outrageous.

JessP 1:45 pm 06 Jan 16

Dungfungus, wildturkeycanoe, chewy14, Masquara

You gents ever tried to book an air fare at the last minute?? Fares can be inflated (although they can be inflated all the time if you live in Canberra). You have a choice at that stage and you can choose to accept the fare or not.

Uber is the same from what I can see. Up front you are told what the loading is….if you don’t want to pay it, don’t use Uber.

wildturkeycanoe 10:56 am 06 Jan 16

chewy14 said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

chewy14 said :

Masquara said :

It turns out that Uber were charging $700 for a trip home on New Year’s Eve in Sydney. Spread that out over your taxi use over a year and I suspect the taxis will work out cheaper overall. Seriously, as soon as they have the market to themselves, don’t expect Uber to do anything other than price-gouge. I won’t be going near them.

For a couple of hours on one night during the absolute peak, not for “a trip home on New Years Eve”.

Honestly, is it really that hard to plan your trip ahead so you didn’t need to travel at that exact time? That you could wait out the price surcharge period? And if you do have to travel at that exact time, surely pre-organising a hire car would be much cheaper.

No sympathy for people who can’t plan ahead or read what they sign up for.

How would one drive a hire car home from NYE celebrations when inebriated? Where would one park the car that is close to the city center? That is why people get Uber and taxi services home. They are not going to wait until 6:30 on new year’s day to go home after staying up all night.
I don’t think ripping somebody off by $700 for a 20 minute ride is anything short of extortion. If a supermarket was to increase the cost of alcohol on NYE or indeed any other public holiday or convenient date just because they can, there’d be a whole lot more scrutiny than what is being done to these dodgy operators.

I was talking about a chauffeured hire car, like this:
http://canberrahc.com.au/

And no one was “ripped off”, they freely agreed to a price for a service that was in extremely high demand when there was extremely low supply. It’s the free market at work.

Ever tried to get a tradie over on the holidays or for an emergency?

Think it’s reasonable that they charge an emergency call out fee? Or is that a rip off too?

Emergency call out fees are not charged at up to 9.9x the usual rate, nor is any other service I can think of. Supply and demand are one thing, but imagine if your mobile call rates were bumped up 900% during Xmas, or your internet was charged similarly in the evenings and on weekends. Did McDonalds increase their 50c cones to $5.00 on NYE? Did your electricity go up 9x during peak hours? No. The only “business” that has seen fit to put a steep sliding scale on their rates is Uber.

dungfungus 9:41 am 06 Jan 16

chewy14 said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

chewy14 said :

Masquara said :

It turns out that Uber were charging $700 for a trip home on New Year’s Eve in Sydney. Spread that out over your taxi use over a year and I suspect the taxis will work out cheaper overall. Seriously, as soon as they have the market to themselves, don’t expect Uber to do anything other than price-gouge. I won’t be going near them.

For a couple of hours on one night during the absolute peak, not for “a trip home on New Years Eve”.

Honestly, is it really that hard to plan your trip ahead so you didn’t need to travel at that exact time? That you could wait out the price surcharge period? And if you do have to travel at that exact time, surely pre-organising a hire car would be much cheaper.

No sympathy for people who can’t plan ahead or read what they sign up for.

How would one drive a hire car home from NYE celebrations when inebriated? Where would one park the car that is close to the city center? That is why people get Uber and taxi services home. They are not going to wait until 6:30 on new year’s day to go home after staying up all night.
I don’t think ripping somebody off by $700 for a 20 minute ride is anything short of extortion. If a supermarket was to increase the cost of alcohol on NYE or indeed any other public holiday or convenient date just because they can, there’d be a whole lot more scrutiny than what is being done to these dodgy operators.

I was talking about a chauffeured hire car, like this:
http://canberrahc.com.au/

And no one was “ripped off”, they freely agreed to a price for a service that was in extremely high demand when there was extremely low supply. It’s the free market at work.

Ever tried to get a tradie over on the holidays or for an emergency?

Think it’s reasonable that they charge an emergency call out fee? Or is that a rip off too?

Plumbers now charge triple time for weekend calls.
Mind you, they don’t work three times as hard.

chewy14 9:23 am 06 Jan 16

wildturkeycanoe said :

chewy14 said :

Masquara said :

It turns out that Uber were charging $700 for a trip home on New Year’s Eve in Sydney. Spread that out over your taxi use over a year and I suspect the taxis will work out cheaper overall. Seriously, as soon as they have the market to themselves, don’t expect Uber to do anything other than price-gouge. I won’t be going near them.

For a couple of hours on one night during the absolute peak, not for “a trip home on New Years Eve”.

Honestly, is it really that hard to plan your trip ahead so you didn’t need to travel at that exact time? That you could wait out the price surcharge period? And if you do have to travel at that exact time, surely pre-organising a hire car would be much cheaper.

No sympathy for people who can’t plan ahead or read what they sign up for.

How would one drive a hire car home from NYE celebrations when inebriated? Where would one park the car that is close to the city center? That is why people get Uber and taxi services home. They are not going to wait until 6:30 on new year’s day to go home after staying up all night.
I don’t think ripping somebody off by $700 for a 20 minute ride is anything short of extortion. If a supermarket was to increase the cost of alcohol on NYE or indeed any other public holiday or convenient date just because they can, there’d be a whole lot more scrutiny than what is being done to these dodgy operators.

I was talking about a chauffeured hire car, like this:
http://canberrahc.com.au/

And no one was “ripped off”, they freely agreed to a price for a service that was in extremely high demand when there was extremely low supply. It’s the free market at work.

Ever tried to get a tradie over on the holidays or for an emergency?

Think it’s reasonable that they charge an emergency call out fee? Or is that a rip off too?

6

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