World first: ACT set to legalise UberX

The ACT will become the first Australia government to legalise ride sharing app Uber from October 30, this proposal make Canberra the first national capital in the world to legalise the ride sharing app.

Uber currently doesn’t operate in the ACT, but is preparing to enter a much friendlier market. The NSW government is currently cracking down on UberX drivers, issuing 40 UberX drivers vehicle suspensions with penalties ranging $637 to $2,200 for driving on NSW roads.

The ACT is welcoming UberX with open arms, chief minister Andrew Barr said in a press release:

“These reforms champion innovation and help taxi and hire car services remain sustainable and important modes of travel in the territory.

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“Canberra’s taxi drivers will have access to multiple modes of business, from traditional rank-and-hail work to ride sharing and third-party taxi booking apps.

“This will increase productivity and income streams for drivers while providing a consistent and high-quality on-demand transport service for Canberrans.”

UberX vehicles in the ACT must pass safety checks and be fully insured, drivers will have to be registered with criminal records and driving histories noted. A UberX driver will have to pay a $50 application fee, $65 for a vehicle inspection, and $45 for a police check.

“The ACT Government recognises that new business models may put pressure on Canberra’s existing taxi drivers and owners,” said Barr.

“That’s why from 30 October, the Government will reduce costs for drivers and owners of taxis, halving taxi license lease fees in 2016 and halving them again in 2017.

“Annual license fees for hire cars will also be significantly reduced.”

B&T has contacted Combined Communications Network (CCN), the largest taxi booking and dispatch service provider in Australia, for comment.

This article first appeared on Which-50 partner site bandt.com.au

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