You may be wondering, but why can’t those with disabilities ride in an Uber? Well, it is simple. Uber has no disability-convivial vehicles. Sure, they have a few vehicles that may be able to hold a collapsible wheelchair or walker, but is this really good enough?
Taxis are currently the only fully equipped public entity in Victoria that can house the personal needs of those with disabilities, such as issues with sight (have tactile words and reflective signage), or handling equipment like canes, walkers, and wheelchairs.
The egalitarian nature of Australia is reflected in this accommodation, as these accessible cabs allow any person with a disability to be entitled to the same service as anybody else, without an additional charge. To make this service more convoluted and difficult for those with a disability to utilise contradicts our already progressive and equitable position.
We should have vehicles readily available for those who need them, and Uber cannot provide this.
Multiple media outlets have focussed on the obvious, conspicuous issue with Uber’s take-over of Melbourne Airport’s taxi ranks, but they have forgotten to mention the blatant anarchy of the event. The main distinction between a taxi and rideshare vehicle is the taxi driver’s ability to accept rank and hail work. If we consider an e-hail to be a hail, then it means we are allowing Uber to remove itself from the definition of being a rideshare entity. It simply contests the Commercial Passenger Vehicle Industry Act (2017). But why would we enforce the law, right?
Around the world, taxis have faced a lack of support from regulators. Where Uber was allowed to operate unregulated, taxis suffered licence fees, tests, security requisites, fare regulations, and other miscellaneous costs.
Moreover, the Australian government let Uber run around here for a very long time illegally, and practically did nothing. So, it comes as no surprise that they are hiding their heads in the sand now. It makes us wonder, who has Uber bedded to make themselves somewhat omnipotent in the eyes of those who are supposed to enforce the law?
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