According to a report in the Daily Telegraph this morning, the state’s war with Uber is set to come to a close — or at least a tentative cease fire — as Transport for NSW begins plans to legalise the service.
Uber is currently operating outside of regulation with services like UberX that allows users to request a car driven by an ordinary citizen, rather than a licensed provider. UberX drivers around the country have been pulled up on massive fines since the service launched, as Uber continues to work with state transport agencies to have it recognised as a legal method of transport.
This morning’s report says that Uber will be legalised in NSW next month. Uber drivers will be forced to pay a fee to operate their service under the new plan, while taxis will retain the exclusive right to use cab ranks around the state.
The centre of the taxi industry’s complaint is the cost of entry between Uber and driving a cab. The state government regulates the cost of taxi plates to the tune of over $300,000, while Uber drivers haven’t had to pay a cent to start operating their competing service. As part of the Uber reforms, cab plates are set to get substantially cheaper.
Uber drivers will also need to undergo further safety checks on their vehicles in order to operate in NSW. [Daily Telegraph]