While NSW transport minister Gladys Berejiklian is maintaining an open mind regarding Uber’s new ride-sharing service, which recently became available in several of the country’s major cities, Victoria isn’t so enthusiastic. On Friday, the state’s transport minister Terry Mulder announced that the Taxi Services Commission is investigating the operation.
Speaking with SMH’s Ben Grubb, Taxi Services Commissioner Graeme Samuel stated that the department had no problems with bringing the law into the equation, if Uber is found to be in violation of established policies.
On the face of it, Mr Samuel believed that Uber was not complying with the Victorian public transport legislation.
“If they are not complying with the law we’ll prosecute,” he said.
This includes getting drivers accredited and paying for the correct license, which costs in the area of $40,000, according to the article.
Samuel also mentions he was “surprised” by Uber’s lack of consultation with the Commission, if only to make sure it was staying between the lines:
“…I would’ve thought that if they wanted some assistance from the Taxi Services Commission to ensure that what they’re doing operates within the law or meets the fundamental imperative we’ve got, which is the safety of passengers, they would sit down with the Taxi Services Commissioner and explain it”.
The Commission reportedly has attempted to get in touch with Uber, but instead found itself going though “intermediaries”, which Samuel says is not acceptable.
With taxi fares in Victoria set to increase by around 30 per cent in May, services such as Uber will only be more in demand, so it’s understandable why the Taxi Services Commission is keen on taking the initiative.