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Ride sharing apps!

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Here is my 2 cents worth .. dont know what other's think
-First I am not from taxi industry so no vested interest.
- Competition is good for consumer as long as it is safe and legal
- I am looking at it as both as a consumer + part of a balanced fair society

1) Lets start with one of the main claims by one of the biggest apps on ABC Radio 612 recently he said "We are not a Taxi company but an alternative to the Taxi Industry"
WTF??? what is the diff between booking a paid ride by hailing a taxi from the street or via a online platform?
So to me for all practical purposes Independent Taxi's + dispatch company = Taxi industry is that not same as Independent Car owners + a mobile app = Taxi Industry
2) Lets assume this Ride share app company was good honest company ...So why on earth they did not try and get in to the Legal Taxi Industry FROM DAY ONE? not as a afterthought! imagine a large transport company one day decides to get in to the legal taxi industry they would have to put in all the infrastructure and get "proper approval" They did not do that carried on under the nose of the law... so how fair dink-um was that?
They operate under this all over the world
3) Sad part is the Left wing govt instead of keeping the standards high seems to have "Lowered" the standards? claiming to have leveled the playing field. so NO need for CCTV snaps in the "Ride share app" like taxis have
4) On the other hand the Conservative opposition who is supposed to be champion of small business does not seems to care about thousands of Taxi Licence holders who are "Small businesses"

5) Do we want to turn Australian transport industry in to a tout ridden unsafe "Free for All" scrum to the finish!
6) What is next ..
" An APP for aged care? so can that anybody and everybody can start "providing Aged care" without any scrutiny or thin scrutiny
" An APP for Fin advice? so can that anybody and everybody can start "providing Financial advice" without any scrutiny or thin scrutiny?
" An APP for Civil engineers ? so can that anybody and everybody can start "providing Bridge design services " without any scrutiny or thin scrutiny?

People get smitten now a days with anything that involves the word "Technology" without thinking through the concequences!
One big mishap and all this craze will get a kick in the backside it deserves.
The only good thing that has come out of all this is perhaps a wake up call to the Taxi Industry I hope they improve their service.
 

CanOz

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I hope the taxi cartel collapses....there is no one industry that I loath more....die MOFO!
 

galumay

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Personally I dont see UBER as much of a threat to the taxi industry, yes, as you say it will probably mean Taxi companies improve customer service, which is no bad thing. It will also drive them to use technology better, (as CAB has already done).

UBER has spent an amazing amount of money to try to get their model up and running - many, many billions of dollars, it doesnt look like turning a profit any time soon. They treat their 'employees' disgracefully and that is certainly an area of their operations that Governement and regulators need to focus on. They let their employees take all the risks and clip them for a very high % of their takings (before GST and all other costs.)

I suspect in the longer term there will be a mix of Taxis and various ride sharing companies, it may well be that UBER disappear, but it takes very little to set up a similar model on a much smaller scale, it would seem to be very scalable as a franchise type opportunity - so someone designs good software for the ride share app, integrates payment apps and franchise management software and then sells access to the whole package to individual drivers that want to ride share.

Legislators and regulators will eventually catch up and make sure they take their clip and also apply similar standards to ride sharing as to taxis, this will cut the margins to the UBERs and level the playing field again.
 

Bill M

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2) Lets assume this Ride share app company was good honest company ...So why on earth they did not try and get in to the Legal Taxi Industry FROM DAY ONE? not as a afterthought! imagine a large transport company one day decides to get in to the legal taxi industry they would have to put in all the infrastructure and get "proper approval" They did not do that carried on under the nose of the law... so how fair dink-um was that?
They operate under this all over the world

Because to do it legally from day one the same as a regular taxi, they would have to buy the available taxi plates out there. Before Ride share app, Sydney taxi plates were selling at $400,000 a pop. You can not just go to the department of transport and say I want 500 taxi plates. It is limited and only the State Government allows more to be issued. Those that are issued have to be paid for as well.

There was strong opposition against Ride share app by present taxi drivers and owners and the government. In the end Ride Share App ended up winning because they were not regular taxis, it all worked online and they can not sit on taxi ranks and they can not pick up hails off the street. It is a different model to the traditional taxi.

Last year I used regular taxis a couple of times in Sydney, I asked the driver straight up if the new guys on the block affected the taxi industry, he said no they didn't. He was still making a reasonable living. By the way, when I came of the cruise ship at White Bay Terminal a few Months ago there was a queue a mile long waiting for taxis. It seems that even with the new ride sharing apps it doesn't make much difference to the queues. Any taxi, regular or ride sharing that relieves waiting times is a good thing in my opinion. One day I'm going to try Uber and see how it goes.
 
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Because to do it legally from day one the same as a regular taxi, they would have to buy the available taxi plates out there. Before Ride share app, Sydney taxi plates were selling at $400,000 a pop. You can not just go to the department of transport and say I want 500 taxi plates. It is limited and only the State Government allows more to be issued. Those that are issued have to be paid for as well.

There was strong opposition against Ride share app by present taxi drivers and owners and the government. In the end Ride Share App ended up winning because they were not regular taxis, it all worked online and they can not sit on taxi ranks and they can not pick up hails off the street. It is a different model to the traditional taxi.

Last year I used regular taxis a couple of times in Sydney, I asked the driver straight up if the new guys on the block affected the taxi industry, he said no they didn't. He was still making a reasonable living. By the way, when I came of the cruise ship at White Bay Terminal a few Months ago there was a queue a mile long waiting for taxis. It seems that even with the new ride sharing apps it doesn't make much difference to the queues. Any taxi, regular or ride sharing that relieves waiting times is a good thing in my opinion. One day I'm going to try Uber and see how it goes.

"Because to do it legally from day one the same as a regular taxi"
So they did it illegally and ignored the law and that is a "good thing" in our society! LOL
This is Corporate skulduggery...
"they were not regular taxis," You got to be kidding me Sorry but the end result is the same, SO they should have been subjected to same laws as others. Hospitals do, Aged care does and Financial planners and registered engineers do they can't get away running a unlicensed business by hiding behind the excuse of "Oh we are just an app" what a load of BS.
 

Bill M

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So they did it illegally and ignored the law

No, you are wrong, they are legally allowed to operate in NSW. How can they be illegal?

You got to be kidding me Sorry but the end result is the same
It is not the same. They can not sit on taxi ranks, they can not pick up hails, they do not take cash. Proper old fashioned meter taxis can do all of that.

SO they should have been subjected to same laws as others.

The drivers have to get accredited just like a taxi driver does. This includes, a current NSW driving license, ID-passport or birth certificate and a valid criminal background check. This is the same requirements as a regular taxi driver.

The way I see it is, you have 2 choices as a taxi operator/owner or wanna be app sharing owner/driver.

1. You buy a regular taxi plate + plus car for around 400K and do everything a regular metered taxi can do and make more money

or

2. Join the app share company and buy a reasonable car, get your accreditation and drive without the benefits of what regular taxis can get. Keep your 400K in your pocket and get paid less to do it.

The fact is, in places like Sydney the regular taxi service was woeful, inadequate, infrequent plus expensive. Taxi Drivers would pick and choose where they wanted to go late on a Friday night. Passengers had to wait in long queues in town and very few taxis would come along, it is dangerous as often assaults and scuffles would break out on taxi ranks.

It makes sense to me that any addition to help people get home is a good thing. Be it trams, buses, trains, free buses (like they did in Manly) or ride sharing apps is a good thing. It is good now that passengers have more choice.
 
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No, you are wrong, they are legally allowed to operate in NSW. How can they be illegal?
I was referring to QLD ! Until 5th Sep...

It is not the same. They can not sit on taxi ranks, they can not pick up hails, they do not take cash. Proper old fashioned meter taxis can do all of that.

Does it matter? at the end of the day a consumer is paying some stranger to take him/ her from Point A to B, wether it is done through hailing that car or using online means make no diff It is a TAXI service! whom are you kidding!



The drivers have to get accredited just like a taxi driver does. This includes, a current NSW driving license, ID-passport or birth certificate and a valid criminal background check. This is the same requirements as a regular taxi driver.
Yes but they do not have to have cars fitted for pasanger safety same level as Taxi? why if the service is the same?

The way I see it is, you have 2 choices as a taxi operator/owner or wanna be app sharing owner/driver.

1. You buy a regular taxi plate + plus car for around 400K and do everything a regular metered taxi can do and make more money

or

2. Join the app share company and buy a reasonable car, get your accreditation and drive without the benefits of what regular taxis can get. Keep your 400K in your pocket and get paid less to do it.

The fact is, in places like Sydney the regular taxi service was woeful, inadequate, infrequent plus expensive. Taxi Drivers would pick and choose where they wanted to go late on a Friday night. Passengers had to wait in long queues in town and very few taxis would come along, it is dangerous as often assaults and scuffles would break out on taxi ranks.
Agreed Taxi company needed a big wake up call , how does that make ride share apps skulduggery ethical?

It makes sense to me that any addition to help people get home is a good thing. Be it trams, buses, trains, free buses (like they did in Manly) or ride sharing apps is a good thing. It is good now that passengers have more choice.

At the cost of destroying many small business and lowering the overall safety standards (QLD)
 
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Have never been a big fan of taxis, have had my fair share of problems with them over the years.

Uber is as it is at the moment is not fair on taxi drivers, if you are in a accident riding in a Uber are you covered by insurance? taxi drivers pay $8000.00 a year for insurance.

A friend came back from overseas though he would try Uber for the first time booked a large Uber X for the family of 4 with 6 suitcases, he had to have one of the smaller ones in his lap, the trip from airport to northern beaches Manly area cost him $198.00 this was late evening.

Point of the story is that if you thing Uber is always cheaper you are in for a surprise, when the taxi industry goes bust in the big cities, Uber and others will be able to charge what ever they want
 

CanOz

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Ahh there's always that one bad example.....I've traveled all over the world, used taxis from the airport to the hotel. They're all opportunistic crooks! I despise them. I've been an uber user for 3 years....my rides would be in the dozens....no complaints, not one.
 
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Ahh there's always that one bad example.....I've traveled all over the world, used taxis from the airport to the hotel. They're all opportunistic crooks! I despise them. I've been an uber user for 3 years....my rides would be in the dozens....no complaints, not one.
Have never used Uber or other like it so cannot say anything from experience.
To be fair I do think Uber as an idea is good.
 

galumay

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Point of the story is that if you thing Uber is always cheaper you are in for a surprise,

I dont think the argument is just that they are cheaper - and as you suggest thats only a temporary thing while UBER rip off their employees and dodge regulation tax, and compliance issues - there is also the matter of safety, there have been some very nasty incidents with UBER drivers, rapes and so on. Its bound to happen because there is very little screening of drivers.

Some people really seem to have an odd emotionally negative response to taxi drivers, these people seem to see the worst in taxis and then put on very rose coloured glasses when it comes to UBER.

Ultimately as I said earlier I think taxis will prevail, they will adopt the ride sharing type apps and then they will provide both services legitimately, the traditional taxi service which isnt going to disappear, and the opportunity to for people to use an app to book and pay for a taxi in the same way as you might use the UBER app now.
 

CanOz

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I dont think the argument is just that they are cheaper - and as you suggest thats only a temporary thing while UBER rip off their employees and dodge regulation tax, and compliance issues - there is also the matter of safety, there have been some very nasty incidents with UBER drivers, rapes and so on. Its bound to happen because there is very little screening of drivers.

Some people really seem to have an odd emotionally negative response to taxi drivers, these people seem to see the worst in taxis and then put on very rose coloured glasses when it comes to UBER.

Ultimately as I said earlier I think taxis will prevail, they will adopt the ride sharing type apps and then they will provide both services legitimately, the traditional taxi service which isnt going to disappear, and the opportunity to for people to use an app to book and pay for a taxi in the same way as you might use the UBER app now.

Galumay have you been through a driver screening?
 

Bill M

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UBER rip off their employees and dodge regulation tax, and compliance issues

No different to a normal taxi driver. Normal taxi drivers do not get nor have a salary. It's all commission based. For example, say a Monday night night costs $180 to rent a cab. On top of that a driver will pay up to $50 on a big shift for LPG. He needs to pull $230 before he gets anything for himself. This is how it has always worked in Sydney. If that driver has a bad night and can only pull $300 gross, that's it, he gets $70 for a 12 hour shift. It happens a lot on quiet nights. It is then up to that individual driver to pay his own tax. No salary, no unions, no sickies, no holidays, no super. They are self employed, no customers = no money.


there is also the matter of safety, there have been some very nasty incidents with UBER drivers, rapes and so on. Its bound to happen because there is very little screening of drivers.

Like that doesn't happen with normal taxis? Happens all the time, it was only just recently the Sydney Police opened a cold case dating back some 25 years. No DNA in those days but they managed to scrape some seaman off the backseat of a cab a lady claimed she was raped in. They tracked down the driver, he was in a wheelchair by this time but ended up confessing to the crime. The thing is, regular taxis have their fair share of cowboys in there too. Plenty of cases where 2 brothers shared the same Driver Authority Card as well. Both driving the same taxi but only one being licensed. Oh man, these cases been going on from year dot....... All the screening in the world isn't going to keep the cowboys out.
 
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Ahh there's always that one bad example.....I've traveled all over the world, used taxis from the airport to the hotel. They're all opportunistic crooks! I despise them. I've been an uber user for 3 years....my rides would be in the dozens....no complaints, not one.

I guess the point is not about how good these ride share drivers are but about
- the ethics of all this/ how it started
- how it snubbed the law
- How it is still wiggling out and using every excuse not to be held accountable to higher standards
- How it is using the excuse of being a tech only company and why they should be exempt ( from day one) of the same scrutiny as regulated taxi and the most laughable arguments that they are not a Taxi service! By They I mean the app company + the car owner
Sure there are are bad apples in each industry and sure Taxi industry in AUS needed a serious kick it's back side.
Just now I used an online service to call a home visit doctor.. the company is owned by non Doctors they just connect patients to Doctors but the visiting person is fully regulated Doctor in AUS
Until the govt put some restrictions ( and it took a year in QLD) these apps were just running an illegal business.
Imagine if the above mentioned Home doctor (app) would do the same and use unqualified people as doctors
No body i the media is really getting to the crux of the matter that the ETHICS of all.. and those who question are labeled as Anti Technology..
Let me ask all those who are in love with these apps would you allow similar app to connect all those dodgy / unlicensed "Investment advisers" to just connect traders/ investors and if things go wrong they can walk away by claiming oh we are just an app! NO ASIC or SEC scrutiny, freedom of choice/ Technology hoorah/ let dog eat dog.... who care about consumer protection. we are just an app in thin air we can do whatever we like under the name of freedom of choice!
 
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When I catch an Uber I am not hiring a driver and I do not pay that person any money. He is a friend that I have met through an internet app and he is giving me a lift home or into town where I will eat a delicious meal and drink delicious beverages. Everyone I have met and caught a lift with this app have been very nice and I don't believe are breaking any laws! The last Uber I had a guy pick me up in a hummer, it was a cold night and it had heated seats. Really nice guy. Couldn't give a **** if some other idiot paid 400K for a taxi plate to force me to ride in his vomit mobile.
 
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I can see the positives in this idea as others have said but I also see some downsides.

It's a bit like engaging an unlicensed tradesman or professional. All good until something goes wrong and then it's a minefield. Good luck getting an insurance payout when your unlicensed gas fitter blew the house to pieces, that's going to be a nightmare at best. Much the same I expect if there's some sort of incident whilst using Uber - who's going to pay up?

I don't agree with the concept that a taxi plate costs what it does, that's truly ridiculous. If I want to start a taxi business then I should be paying the reasonable cost of administration etc to issue the appropriate licenses and that's nowhere near $400K or even $40K, those prices are truly ridiculous. Given the obvious shortage of taxis at peak times it's ludicrous to be creating an artificial shortage by means of regulation limiting the number of taxis in operation.

On the other hand, in most (all?) states there seems to be a requirement that there's a camera recording in the taxi and that they've got various insurances. No such thing with Uber it seems - all fine until someone gets hurt and then it won't be pretty.

Only real trouble I've ever had with taxis is drivers deliberately taking the slow way to get to the destination. Going through congested streets in the CBD unnecessarily and so on. I soon learned to always make it known that I know where I'm going and am familiar with the city or town (even if I've never actually been there before). That stops most such nonsense. :2twocents
 

Wysiwyg

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It's a bit like engaging an unlicensed tradesman or professional.
I don't think Uber has specific requirements like this B&W taxi requirements list.


The following requirements must be met in order to be granted a Driver Authorisation:
  • You must be entitled to work in Australia
  • You must hold an Australian issued Open Driver’s Licence continuously for a minimum of 12 months
  • You must have a satisfactory criminal history record
  • You must obtain a current Medical Certificate for Motor Vehicle Driving from your local General Practitioner (GP)
  • You must complete a National Minimum English Standards (NMES) Assessment Test*
  • A confirmation of Training Statement (Partial Certificate II in Driving Operations – Taxicab) which will be issued to you approximately ten working days following the successful completion of your Driver training course.
 

CanOz

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I don't think Uber has specific requirements like this B&W taxi requirements list.


The following requirements must be met in order to be granted a Driver Authorisation:
  • You must be entitled to work in Australia
  • You must hold an Australian issued Open Driver’s Licence continuously for a minimum of 12 months
  • You must have a satisfactory criminal history record
  • You must obtain a current Medical Certificate for Motor Vehicle Driving from your local General Practitioner (GP)
  • You must complete a National Minimum English Standards (NMES) Assessment Test*
  • A confirmation of Training Statement (Partial Certificate II in Driving Operations – Taxicab) which will be issued to you approximately ten working days following the successful completion of your Driver training course.

Uber does indeed require this. I was declined as an uber driver. I have to wait until I've been driving in Australia for a year...then I can go through the rest of the process. So yeah, I know first hand what thier requirements are....
 
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