More states should take up Vic taxi rules: ingogo

Cab booking app developers have welcomed new taxi rules in Victoria as further opening the market for competitors to the taxi establishment.

The taxi rules taking effect today allow more people to buy taxi licences without requiring them to affiliate with major networks. That means taxi drivers do not have to pay monthly fees to taxi networks, the majority of which are controlled by Cabcharge.

The licences will be available to eligible applicants for an annual fee, with lower fees for regional areas and wheelchair-accessible vehicles. An application fee also applies.

Hamish Petrie, founder of taxi booking app, ingogo, said he would like to see the Victoria rules taken up on a national level. He urged the federal government to closely monitor the rollout of the Victorian model.

“Taxi services have been held ransom to a few greedy interests for too long and it’s important to create a national standard to bring consistency and certainty to this important industry,” said Petrie.

“As new players like ingogo deliver more and more jobs, it’s putting further pressure on Cabcharge, who have maintained their market share based on an unfair legislated income stream.”

Two other taxi booking apps, Uber and goCatch, have also praised the changes in Victoria.

“We applaud any reform that puts customers first and promotes competition, said Uber general manager of Sydney, David Rohrsheim.

GoCatch co-founder Andrew Campbell said, “this is a positive development which we expect will assist with the continued growth in the goCatch business.”

Adam Bender covers telco and enterprise tech issues for Computerworld and is the author of dystopian sci-fi novels We, The Watched and Divided We Fall. Follow him on Twitter: @WatchAdam

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