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Respectability comes to Uber In Australia. Apparently?

UBER RIDESHARE STOCKUber has put the cat amongst the pigeons when it comes to offering a transport service alternative to taxis. Originally founded in 2009, in San Francisco where its headquarters remain, the company quickly spread its wings worldwide.It also quickly garnered a reputation fo being more cost efficient, better on arriving on time and providing a range of vehicles to suit particulars desires. But it also seemed to hover on the fringe of legality, with no seemingly apparent regulations or rules.

In November 2015, the state government of New South Wales appeared to have decided to change that, following a decision by the Australian Capital Territory in October to regulate the ride sharing service.Uber 3

Part of the issues raised by those against the service was a lack of checks on drivers and the vehicles involved. Insurance, as a result, was also under the spotlight. In NSW,proposed changes involve a licensing fee being brought in, whilst the taxi industry will be compensated forlosing their virtual monopoly. There’s an agreement that no Uber vehicle will stop streetside, unlike a taxi, nor will they be allowed to gather at designated taxi ranks.

The reforms will also lead to tighter control of who can become an Uber driver with those with criminal records banned from obtaining a licence. Uber vehicles will also be required to undergo regular safety inspections.

That’s all presuming the mooted changes actally go ahead. As of November 23, the Premier of New South Wales,Mike Baird, had said that any recommendations by the Point to Point Taskforce, investigating how Uber may work in competition with the taxi industry, have yet to be officially put before Cabinet. Baird said: “What you need to understand is the taxi industry is effectively 6,000 small businesses, they have bought into this industry on the basis of significant upfront investment.”

This comes after a crackdown on the service in late September of 2015, as 40 drivers had their vehicle registrations suspended by the Roads and Maritime Services. If a suspended vehicle is found on the road after 1 October, the vehicle is deemed unregistered and uninsured, with penalties of $637 for each offence, increasing to about $2,200 if heard in court, an RMS spokesman said at the time.

As this is a story in progress, this article will be updated when further information comes to hand.

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