Uber is a taxi app that's making waves all around the world. It mainly operates on an "ask forgiveness, never permission" model when launching in a new city. Uber Sydney has been trialling low-cost UberX ride-sharing services for a few weeks, and the New South Wales Government has reminded them that it's against the law. Uber Sydney is now giving said government the bird, taking UberX live to the whole city and rubbing the bureaucrat's noses in it.
If you're in Sydney, open your Uber app right now and have a look at the triumphant party banner Uber has pushed to every single one of its users inside the city limits.
We've got a screenshot below, but for those less visually inclined, it reads in big, bold letters:
Sydney Has Spoken
You Wanted Safe Rides At Below Taxi Rates
Uber X Has Arrived
Here's the banner:
Uber has been in the test phase for low cost now for just over a week, and there's no knowing if tonight was the night the taxi app company was going to roll it out to everyone anyway.
Uber Sydney had actually referred to the Uber Low Cost service at 5:20pm (AEST) today as still being in the trial phase:
All @Uber_Sydney choices, including taxis, hire cars, and our ride-sharing trial, are still available to get you home safely.
— Uber Sydney (@Uber_Sydney) April 30, 2014
It does, though, seem slightly suspect that Uber Sydney would boldly launch UberX (as it's now officially branded) on the same day that the government issued a statement saying specifically that ride-sharing apps like the one offered by low-cost UberX, are in contravention of the Passenger Transport Act.
Under the act, drivers and the services they operate must hold an official taxi or hire car license to be an accredited driver. It also ensures that vehicles can be properly checked to make sure they’re safe. Drivers are also subjected to relevant police background checks.
Anyone caught operating a vehicle in contravention of the act is subject to a whopping $110,000 fine.