Uber in Perth. Effect on Chauffeur Companies and Taxi Industry

23 May 2014

UBER has arrived in Perth. This is an American company who have developed a mobile app to book a car and driver on demand. They are currently offering this service in 100's of cities worldwide, some legally and some illegally. They have upset the taxi industry and chauffeur industry in many cities because they do not comply with many of the regulations that are in place for transport operators. There are a number of court cases involving UBER. It has not yet been approved by the Department of Transport and may be illegal in Perth.

There are two different offerings available, UBER BLACK and UBER X.

UBER BLACK is the premium side where prices are a little more than a taxi and you will receive a luxury car such as a BMW, Mercedes-Benz or a Holden Caprice/Statesman. UBER are currently using registered Small Charter Vehicles (SCV) in Perth so you will get a professional, uniformed chauffeur driving the car. UBER have signed up a number of these SCV operators and given them a special app on an iPhone which they switch on when they have downtime from their normal work.The Transport Department are currently looking into this as they are strict rules that SCV's need to comply with in Perth.

* All rides must be pre-booked and the chauffeur must have the relevant paperwork to prove this in the car.

* There is a minimum cost of $60 that SCV's must charge and there is a minimum one hour hire.

The other option which has not yet started in Perth is UBER X which promises cheaper prices than taxis. These cars are not driven by professional drivers and the standard of the car will not be in the class of the UBER BLACK service. The problem with this service is that the drivers do not have commercial insurance and public liability insurance. The cars do not undergo an annual inspection with the Department of Transport that all taxis and SCV cars must do. This means that you could be getting a ride in an un-roadworthy vehicle. The drivers do not undergo a regular medical and do not have police clearance that all taxi and SCV operators must comply with.

UBER BLACK is a great idea and will be popular in Perth, if approved. It will shake up the taxi industry in Perth which can only be a good thing and the service should improve. It should not effect the SCV industry too much as the app does not allow pre-booking so you will not get the premium service that an SCV company offers such as airport meet and greets and guaranteed pick ups when and where you want. It is also helpful for SCV operators who can get some UBER business when they have downtime, once it has been approved by the Department of Transport.

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