The Maurice Blackburn class action against Uber Technologies (Uber) was instigated by Rod Barton MP and Transport Alliance Director, André Baruch on behalf of Melbourne, Sydney and Perth taxi and hire car licence owners.
There is also a lawsuit filed against Uber by the Sydney based company behind ride-booking platform GoCatch, Taxi Apps.
Both the class action and lawsuit have accused Uber of conspiring to illegally operate UberX in NSW, Queensland and Western Australia since April 2014, and in Victoria since it was regulated in 2017.
NSW government is exploring innovative options available for the taxi industry to assist with contact tracing.
This comes on the back of nine untraceable passengers who travelled in a 13cabs Silver Service taxi on September 7-18, 2020 in NSW, with a driver who was COVID-19 positive. These passengers are yet to be identified, with health authorities finding it increasingly difficult to trace them, as they got into the taxi from a rank or hailed it and did not pay with a credit card.
Currently, a few major challenges in the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) in Australia is the lack of Government driven incentives and emissions regulations, as well as the high cost of these vehicles for businesses and individuals.
The federal Government will be introducing incentives for businesses to invest in new electric car fleets, in the aim towards achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. The incentives are then in turn envisioned to bring down the costs of EVs and make them more accessible to Australians. A $74.5 million Government package will assist businesses in trialing new technology for fleets, such as hydrogen, electric and biofuelled vehicles, and fund the installation of charging infrastructure in workplaces across Australia.
The NSW Government has developed a clean-up kit for Point to Point drivers to carry in their vehicles. The new "clean up kits" are now available for Taxis and other Point to Point transport service providers to help keep drivers and passengers safe from germs.
Each "clean up kit" will have gloves, saline eye wash, antiseptic swabs, soap and a first aid hand towel stored in re-sealable plastic bag to make it easy for drivers to use. These "clean up kits" could be used in the event of a passenger spreading droplets, such as coughing or sneezing, so the drivers can clean themselves or their vehicle surfaces to potentially reduce the spread of infection. All Taxis and Point to Point vehicles in NSW will be eligible for one COVID-19 "clean up kit", free of charge.
Transport Alliance Australia (TAA) held a free Operators' Forum last month and its keynote speaker was Bill Faeth. Bill teaches entrepreneurs, business owners and high performance leaders how to build and scale profitable businesses without sacrificing family.
At the TAA Operator's Forum, Bill highlighted the fact that we need to keep in touch with our clients. He even suggested that we should call our top 20 clients this week and ask them how they are doing. How they are coping and offer to help them in any way possible. It is this phone call that will be remembered post COVID-19, and it just might be for your betterment.
In these uncertain times of a global pandemic, staying safe and looking after one’s health and wellbeing is more significant than ever before. London Taxis (associated with GM Cabs) is helping healthy people stay healthy by providing passengers a transport solution which enables them to move around in a controlled environment in a safe, sound and reliable manner. London Taxis operates a fleet of 50 Taxis in Sydney and overall 120 Taxis in Australia.
London Taxis has a COVID-19 defence solution in every individual Taxi. The passengers are completely separated from the driver with an air lock fibreglass dividing screen which effectively separates the driver’s compartment from the passenger cabin. Their air conditioning is also separate for each compartment.
"There are quite a number of Victorian taxi and ride share drivers who are feeling frightened/put in danger, by transporting passengers in the front seat of the vehicle and also those who are going to a COVID testing station.
I think that Victorian passengers should not be allowed to travel in the front seat of a taxi or rideshare - just like it is in many other Australian states.
Also if there are more than 2 passengers travelling in the taxi - then they should travel in a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) or High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV). This way social distancing can be maintained...
Nelson Bay Taxi driver Meri Robinson went above and beyond the call of duty recently and the result of her actions is a life saved.
Meri who works for Nelson Bay Taxis in NSW was scheduled to pick up a regular elderly client at 8.15am in the morning. The client had booked the pickup the night before to get to her medical appointment.
When Meri turned up at the residence to pick up the passenger, things did not look quite right. Meri Robinson would usually arrive at the residence of her passenger and normally the front door would be open with the walker ready to go at the bottom of the stairs.
It has been pleasing to note that the NSW Taxi industry has seen some improvement in the demand for Taxis, since the easing of certain restrictions, recently announced by the NSW Government in June. These include;
Increase in the number of people allowed to socially gather
Re-opening of Restaurants, Cafes, Clubs and Pubs with social distancing guidelines
A slight increase in people returning to work in the Sydney CBD
The Queen’s Birthday long weekend, which took place 6th to 8th June 2020, saw some increase in Taxi patronage right across NSW. We were delighted to hear of towns in Regional NSW reach capacity with accommodation and venues booked out at a number of locations.