Authorities all over the world are banning ridesharing in major cities, but the companies involved repeatedly ignore local laws and continue operating illegally. In New South Wales, the State Government has clearly outlined that ridesharing is illegal stating: “if a NSW driver is taking paying members of the public as passengers, the driver and the vehicle must operate in accordance with the Passenger Transport Act”. Uber X drivers in several Australian States, including NSW, are currently facing criminal charges as a result of ignoring local transportation laws.
BALANCED APPROACH TO REGULATING SHARING ECONOMY NEEDED TO ENCOURAGE GROWTH
The Tourism Advisory Council of the NSW Business Chamber has released a new report calling for a balanced approach to regulating services such as Uber and Airbnb to encourage growth in the visitor economy, rather than restrict it.
Commissioned by the NSW Business Chamber, the report: The Sharing Economy: Issues, Impacts, and Regulatory Responses in the context of the NSW Visitor Economy, was submitted to the The Point to Point Transport Taskforce and the NSW Legislative Assembly Committee on Environment and Planning responsible for conducting an inquiry into the adequacy of the regulation of short-term holiday letting in New South Wales.
The NSW Taxi Council and the reputable industry bodies are working with State Government to protect and improve conditions for drivers and passengers. Ridesharing companies are owned by entrepreneurs with the aim of cashing in by snatching a share of the fare and removing drivers’ rights. There’s a fundamental difference and one must ask, who are these people promoting ridesharing and what are their true motives?
Ridesharing isn’t sustainable and the people running ridesharing companies don’t care about drivers or know what’s right for the industry. As detailed in a recent statement by the NSW Taxi Council, supported by the Insurance Council of Australia, rideshare drivers are not only breaking the law, they may not have proper insurance or cover for workers compensation. Additionally, there’s no safety equipment or professional representation with support from an industry association.
The NSW Taxi Council is continuously working to support drivers, customers and the wider industry. We are committed to getting the balance right, but fiercely support the regulation of key services and the necessity of public transport in the community interest. We know there are areas to improve, such as removing unnecessary red tape and getting legitimate drivers on the road as soon as possible as they go through the correct processes.
We want to make it as easy as possible for drivers and owners, but it goes without saying that we won’t negotiate on safety and drivers’ rights – and that’s in everyone’s interest. We will continue to develop an exemplary level of customer service that reflects technological advances, emphasises driver skills and facilitates the collective experience of industry figures.
As the peak industry body for NSW, we have a simple message on behalf of the whole taxi industry: ridesharing – it’s not worth the risk!
View the below links for just some of the latest information about what’s happening here in Australia and around the world.
Follow the NSW Taxi Council’s new Twitter account @nswtaxi and CEO Roy Wakelin-King @RoyWakelinKing for all the latest info on ridesharing. You can also follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/NSW-Taxi-Council/221755168006284
To report illegal ridesharing activity throughout New South Wales, email firstname.lastname@example.org with as much detail as possible. We will ensure this information is passed on to the relevant authorities.