Tram And Taxi Strikes Shut Down Melbourne, City Curls Into Ball And Weeps

Melbourne, we’re gonna get through this together: everything’s gonna be OK.
The Victorian capital is currently enduring its fourth and fifth major transport strike inside two weeks, with trams being taken off the roads for the second, coupled with a concurrent taxi strike.
The trams, as you all may know by now, are off the roads in protest over proposed changes to working conditions – a battle with management that has last a good 18 months or so.
The taxis, however, are a new player in the game; the city’s ubiquitous yellow cabs blocked Spring Street in both directions today, in protest over the State Government‘s perceived lack of action on ride-sharing service UberX.
The taxi protest is the bubbling-to-a-head of tensions between the taxi industry and Uber, and comes ahead of the conclusion of the court case against UberX driver Nathan Brenner – in what has become a test case to determine whether or not the service is legal in Victoria.
Taxis began blocking off Spring St to congregate on the steps of Parliament earlier this morning.

Real talk, I can’t look at that “REGULATOR MUST REGULATE” sign without picturing Warren G and Nate Dogg.

The taxi strike has largely cleared for the time being – although the industry union asserts that additional action will hit Melbourne, along with along with Perth and Sydney as soon as next Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the city is suffering through it’s second tram Strike, following on from last week’s train Strike that caused just about everyone to throw work into the bin and take an impromptu long weekend.
However today’s tram strike comes on a day where the weather is clear, and the sun is out – unlike the past two weeks, which have coincided with rain by the bucketload.
So whilst Melburnians are having to stomach another day on foot, the sting is being eased by the fact that it’s a bloody nice day.

Oddly enough, despite most of the city’s major transport options completely shutting down during the day, Uber itself has not featured the monumental surge pricing that has accompanied previous strikes.

This, taken from the strike’s peak, shows no surge pricing in effect in the Fitzroy/Carlton/City Fringe area.
Though speculation is rife that Uber has been deliberately suppressing the price surge option in Melbourne today, outwardly the company is insisting that is simply due to the demand not being there.
Right. And if my Grandmother had wheels, she’d be a wagon.
Meanwhile, the sympathy strike action continues to flood in.
Photos: Robert Prezioso via Getty Images.