The NSW Taxi Council today called on the NSW Government to urgently review the compliance approach undertaken by the NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) towards the taxi industry after the heavy handed actions of the regulator towards the taxi industry’s promotion of the Disney theatre production, Aladdin.
RMS gave the relevant network 14 days’ notice to address ‘regulatory breaches’ regarding the spectacular vehicle wraps (pictured below) or further compliance action would be taken. One taxi was fined for not having the ‘correct’ stickers on the vehicle.
Although the fine was eventually repealed, this heavy handed action stands in stark contrast to no action being taken by RMS against Uber when it did the same thing for its joint promotion of the Sydney Mardi Gras earlier this year (also pictured below).
CEO of the NSW Taxi Council, Mr Roy Wakelin-King said that this latest incident involving the regulator is pushing the NSW Taxi Industry to a point of complete frustration.
“For RMS to run the microscope all over us on what is a fantastic initiative and yet not apply the same approach to Uber just beggars belief,” Mr Wakelin-King said.
“Here the is taxi industry responding positively to the NSW Government’s Point to Point Transport reforms with a great initiative, promoting a wonderful state-supported event, and the regulator then climbs all over us for not having stickers in the right place. It is simply absurd”, Mr Wakelin-King said.
This latest incident comes on the back of a succession of equally imbalanced actions by RMS which has caused significant concern to the NSW Taxi Industry. These incidents include:
· Over 2,000 taxis being inspected in the last 2 months while less than 150 Uber cars were inspected over the corresponding period
· RMS undertaking compliance operations against taxis at peak demand locations such as the Star Casino during peak periods (including midnight on Saturday evening, whilst Uber drivers are able to pick up passengers unimpeded at the same location)
· NSW Taxi drivers receiving fines for not properly filling out daily worksheets whilst Uber drivers were getting off with warnings for not having a valid Driver Authority
Mr Wakelin-King said that in order for the NSW Government’s Point to Point Transport reforms to work, there needs to be an even-handed approach to compliance and regulation.
“When introducing its reforms, the NSW Government said it wanted to ‘get out of the industry’s way’ when it came to regulation and yet this appears to have failed at the first hurdle.
“We therefore urgently call on the Government to fix this issue, level the playing field and give us a fair go when it comes to competing with Uber,” Mr Wakelin-King said.