Uber Ride Sharing deemed illegal by NSW

Discussion in 'Travel News' started by markis10, Apr 30, 2014.

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  1. markis10

    markis10 Veteran Member

    Nov 25, 2004
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    Transport for NSW has ruled out smartphone apps that allow motorists who are not taxi or hire car drivers to receive money for offering lifts.
    In response to a new low cost "ride-sharing" service offered by Uber, which allows non taxi drivers to offer a taxi-like service, the state's transport department said on Wednesday that all drivers needed to be accredited under the Passenger Transport Act.
    This would rule out Uber's ride-sharing service as it currently operates, though not apps that make it easier for taxi customers to book an authorised cab or hire car.

    Ride-sharing apps ruled out by NSW government
     

  2. juddles

    juddles Established Member

    Aug 2, 2011
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    That very old saying still applies: ¨You get what you pay for¨:)
     
  3. BAM1748

    BAM1748 Senior Member

    Jul 22, 2008
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    I feel like offering a few free rides per week just to get up Reg Kermode.

    M
     
  4. burmans

    burmans Senior Member

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    #4 burmans, Apr 30, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014
    You've got to love that cosy relationship that Transport for NSW have with the cab companies, serving their needs rather than the people of NSW.
     
  5. Hvr

    Hvr Senior Member

    Jun 27, 2007
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    Well let's not forget that both sides of the NSW government have been recipients of donations.

    The taxi industry is not there for customers. If they (customers) receive a service well it is tolerated as long as the owners continue to make massive profits.
     
  6. eastwest101

    eastwest101 Established Member

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    #6 eastwest101, Apr 30, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014
    I think the statement by NSW Transport has given Uber a possible "workaround" to the law. Note the part of the statement that says:

    ''However, these laws do not apply to, for example, a group of friends sharing expenses or a car-pooling arrangement between colleagues sharing a ride to the office.''

    Uber just need to restructure their App so that when you sign on or use the service you are using a car pooling arrangement, charge a $1 vehicle pooling maintenence fee that is exchanged between the owner/driver and passenger. Cannot see any government being able to prohibit car pooling or to prohibit sharing of expenses.

    I think its more likely that the insurance angle might be used to kill off the Uber business model, as the business concept is too disruptive for so many vested interests that it won't be permitted to survive unfortunately.
     
  7. mel-world

    mel-world Member

    Dec 7, 2011
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    Typical of the cosy relationships between big business and government all over the country at the moment.

    I have been using minicabs in London for many years - they are now more regulated but it was a free-for-all for a long time. Used to be a bit of a lottery on the quality of the car and the driver but much cheaper than the Black cabs.
     
  8. JohnPhelan

    JohnPhelan Established Member

    Nov 5, 2010
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    It opens the door to limo drivers being the main providers of vehicles under Uber, which seems to be how it works in a lot of US cities.
     
  9. Aussie_flyer

    Aussie_flyer Established Member

    Apr 26, 2009
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    I like the standard uber service, wasn't too keen on this ride sharing side of it
     
  10. burmans

    burmans Senior Member

    Feb 21, 2006
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    Somewhere else they stated something about providing services "to the public" and I was wondering about this group of friends/colleague type language. It does seems to me that there may be an out here.
     
  11. lovestotravel

    lovestotravel Senior Member

    Sep 18, 2008
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    I have zero interest in being driven around by someone who may or may not have an idea of where they are driving
    I have zero interest in being driven around in a car that may be up to 8 years old (or whatever the age limit is)
    I have zero interest in being driven around in a car where the driver is likely working this shift as a "second job"

    I am a pretty big fan of the normal Uber black car service and would never use the cheap ride share/crap car option!
     
  12. burmans

    burmans Senior Member

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    well don't then, but there are probably plenty who'd be quite happy to do this.
     
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  13. lovestotravel

    lovestotravel Senior Member

    Sep 18, 2008
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    Yeh.. I won't be doing it and why anyone would want to work for "up to $20 per hour" letting strangers in your own car is again questionable.

    Take out running costs and fuel and you'd be lucky to make $15 per hour and then likely get taxed on that...

    Oh and the fact that your insurance coverage likely doesn't cover the drivers car as well.
     
  14. DeKa

    DeKa Established Member

    Oct 26, 2008
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    A friend of mine had a run in an Uber car share the other day - the total of the bill was just over $9 for 32 minutes. They were right about the "up to $20 per hour."
     
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  15. lovestotravel

    lovestotravel Senior Member

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    #15 lovestotravel, Apr 30, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014
    Exactly!

    Base fare of $4 and then $0.85 cents per km, NO fee for waiting in traffic, so I'd suggest uberX in the city would be pretty much pointless and it's better for travellers who will be going longer distances.

    Even at 80km/h for 1 hour plus a $4 base fare... 80km X 0.85 = $68 plus $4 base fare = $72... At 80% in your pocket $57 and you would have spent about $11.40 in petrol.....

    Can't see how you'd make anything out of this as a driver.....

    Now that's assuming a very long trip, with no stops which wouldn't happen

    More likely 1 hour of driving = 40km = $27 in your pocket and about $7 in petrol.... $20 BEFORE tax and other running costs of your car...
     
  16. MrHyde

    MrHyde Member

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    Like anything, I believe choice is a good thing. I may never use the service, but there are plenty of people who would and plenty of people who would be willing to be drivers as well (considering UberX had already signed up quite a large number of drivers). If UberX started to get popular, there may be a chance the actual taxis might start cleaning up their act and actually compete in an open marketplace.

    I read about another similar service starting in NSW this week - backseat.me. They are saying that you don't need to provide any payment to the driver, but are free to leave a tip if you want. I wonder if that strategy will get around this ruling.
     
  17. DeKa

    DeKa Established Member

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    Isn't it the other way around? 80% in the driver's pocket, and 20% to Uber? Even so, it's not much.
     
  18. lovestotravel

    lovestotravel Senior Member

    Sep 18, 2008
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    Oh yes.. hah fixed
     
  19. quick_dry

    quick_dry Member

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    I don't see the appeal to be just a driver for hire - but I could see it being nice to have a service where the 'designated driver' for the night could advertise any spare seats in the car, for a ride back to somewhere along the way home and have that offset the costs of driving and parking in the city. That should put you into the 'car pooling with shared costs' safe haven. It wouldn't be as convenient as getting a taxi (though you won't have the meter running during a suggested Macca's drive-thru), but if you didn't wind up with a cheap ride near home you could always get in a normal taxi.
     
  20. Alanslegal

    Alanslegal Senior Member

    Jun 22, 2007
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    On the flip side;
    Not all taxi drivers know where they are going either.
    Some taxi drivers even take slightly longer routes, even if its an extra block, and if they did it to a majority of their passenger they can increase revenue by a worthwhile %.
    Some taxi's I have been into feel like its more than 8 years old.
    Some taxi drivers, it is their second job, weekend job etc.
    Some drivers refuse to accept my fare because its not worthwhile enough [I live ~2kms from Sydney CBD for example]. The ones who refuse my fare know its illegal but still refuse to do so because they know very few % do complain because the onus is on me, I need to spend my spare time lodging a complaint, then its my word vs. the driver's word, the driver still maintains his or her right to refuse my fare on certain conditions and probably will use on of those conditions to justify why s/he said no. And would I do all this all because of $12.00 fare, very very unlikely.

    FWIW I think the UBER concept is great. Being able to ride in a private citizens car who probably maintains it better than many regular taxi drivers, the driver to be ultimately ranked/rated on their performance so they will likely try and provide a good service to ensure that they build a good reputation, there is real time monitoring on the driver's location, cost of this service also appears more favourable than regular taxi's.

    Now, UBER reminds me of the AirBNB business (rental of spare rooms, shared room, private apartments, homes etc) where basically private landlords are renting out spare rooms or whole properties out on short to medium term basis. I have used AirBNB close to a dozen times, mainly over Europe, and renting directly with the landlord. Many people are skeptical or reluctant to be renting directly because of a variety of reasons but its a model where you could rent accommodation, in good locations, for potentially much less than a smaller sized hotel room in a similar location. AirBNB works on a user rating system, so both the landlord and the renter can be rated and reviewed, so good landlords (and properties) are often easily determined.
     
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