“Uber has taken up to 50 per cent of the passenger traffic and these numbers are still growing,” says the driver.
The driver says taxi licences were selling for pittances due to the impact of ride share but there was little government help forthcoming.
“Compensation up to $200.000 is being considered in NSW but the compensation in Queensland has been pathetic,” says the driver.
The long-running legal battle by 900 taxi licence owners against the state could fizzle out, with lawyers for the government understood to be moving to have the case wholly thrown out. The value of taxi licences, a once coveted asset, plummeted when ride-sharing services like Uber entered the market with the legalisation of those services in 2016 crushing the taxi industry even more. According to Transport Department data, standard taxi licences in Brisbane were selling for an average of more than half a million dollars in 2014, dropped to $103,828 in 2018 and as of 2021 have slipped even further. Data from November shows some licences in Brisbane were changing hands for as low as $10,000.
Taxi Council of Queensland chief executive Blair Davies says that while the industry continued to face challenges, it was emerging strongly from Covid-19 and competitive pressures from ride-sharing apps. Davies says the pandemic had reinforced the idea that local business needed to be supported and that “sharing was not alway a good idea.” He says drivers could make good living but the challenge for licence holders was finding enough drivers to keep their taxis on the road.
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