Uber increases Australian taxi fares by $1 in response to new legislation
The government of New South Wales, Australia has imposed a levy of $1 per journey on all ridesharing apps to support a new $250 million imitative aiming to revitalise the country’s taxi industry.
Companies were given the choice to absorb the costs into their turnover or increasing their fares to cover the surcharge. Uber, the world’s most prominent and controversial ridesharing app, chose the latter option.
Andrew Constance, New South Wales’ Transport Minister, raised his disappointment over the decision. He said: 'The $1 levy is a temporary measure and it is disappointing to see companies like Uber, who are the main beneficiaries of the reforms to the point to point industry, campaign against fair assistance for people who have invested in taxi plates’.
In response, Uber stated their puzzlement over the levy’s imposition and debated whether it was actually necessary. ‘The reforms have grown the pie for the whole industry’, a spokesperson said, ‘and demand for taxis has remained stable and licence values have rebounded. We are puzzled as to why the NSW government is still taxing the travelling public to give the taxi industry a bailout that the data shows they don't need'.
Uber’s operations in Australia, and the functioning of similar services such as Lyft and Deliveroo, may soon face an even more significant obstacle in the form of a regulated minimum wage for ride-share drivers, pushed for by the Transport Workers Union and the Australian Workers’ Union and set to be brought up at the Australian Labour Party’s national conference in July this year.
We’ll keep following the story and keep you updated on any further news.