Despite repeated and vehement resistance from the regulated Taxi industry, the largely unregulated ridesharing service Uber is not going anywhere anytime soon.
In fact the smartphone based service continues to make shrewd decisions that capitalise on the shortcomings of the regular taxi industry, including capitalising on a recent cab drivers strike in Perth, which unwittingly gifted Uber a temporary monopoly on the market.
Further still, the company has thrown down another challenge to the cab industry in the form of slashing already undercut fare prices.
From 8am this morning, the price of the UberX service will drop by 15% in a new fare structure that will last indefinitely.
From today onwards, the UberX flagfall will drop from $2.50 down to $2, the per kilometre cost falls from $1.30 to $1.10, and the per minute charge drops from $0.40 to $0.35. This excludes periods of high consumer demand, in which Uber’s surge pricing fare scheme still applies.
In contrast, the Taxi industry’s fare structure was adjusted twelve months ago, which included peak time price hikes of up to 30%. Depending on the time of day, the cab flagfall in Melbourne now ranges between $4.20 and $6.20, the cost per kilometre can be anywhere from $1.62 up to $1.97 per km, and the per minute charge fluctuates between $0.57 and $0.69.
Victorian Government officials have not moved to ban Uber, but the cab industry has taken 11 of its drivers to court thus far. Victorian Taxi Families spokesperson Sandy Spanos stated “We can’t fall into anarchy, laws are there to protect both sides; the driver and the consumer.“
Meanwhile, a Melbourne cabbie is under investigation after a passenger filmed him reading a newspaper whilst driving. So, y’know. There’s that too.
Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds via Getty Images.
via The Age.