Despite strong opposition from the taxi industry, the NSW state government made ride sharing services such as Uber, Lyft and Sidecar legal as from midnight last night.
NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance said the state, “will have a new transport economy” that will make travel more affordable for passengers.
“People will have more choice, they will have better services, and better value when it comes to the point-to-point market,” Mr Constance said, “Overall you will see downward pressure on fares.”
Licence fee, safety and checks
Uber drivers across NSW will have to pay a separate licence fee, have regular car safety testing, and criminal background checks.
Levy and compensation
Taxi drivers will be compensated to the tune of $250 million with NSW passengers paying a $1per-trip levy to help pay for the compensation package.
The compensation includes payments of $20,000 to owners of taxi licence plates. The one-off payment will be capped at a maximum of $40,000 for owners of multiple plates.
Ride share restrictions
Uber drivers will not be allowed to pick up passengers from Sydney Airport, and taxis will continue to have exclusive rights to pick up hailing passengers from the street and from taxi ranks.
NSW Premier Mike Baird, posting on Facebook said that, “safety will be boosted through a new regulator and commissioner to oversee the industry” and that the decision is about, “helping consumers to win through having more choice in how they travel and simultaneously being fair to taxi owners as they transition into the future.”
Three things you may not know about Uber:
- NRMA Car Insurance covers Uber drivers.
- Anyone who passes the checks and pays the licence fee can be a driver including taxi drivers, which means ordinary motorists can use it to create income with their car.
- Payment is cashless and customers have the ability to give their driver a rating. Drivers who rate, on average, below a four out of five are removed from the platform.
Things you should know: Speak to your Car and CTP Insurance providers about any policy limits and exclusions that may apply. NRMA Car Insurance issued by Insurance Australia Limited ABN 11 000 016 722 AFSL 227681 trading as NRMA Insurance. This is general advice only, so to see if a product is right for you, always consider your own circumstances and the Product Disclosure Statement available from NRMA Insurance.