Richards, C. (June, 2017). Making sense of the Qld taxi industry’s Uber crisis: The brief outline of an ‘idiot-proof’ guide for confused politicians, disinterested media and a misinformed public, Working paper submitted to the Qld. Taxi Council. FULL PAPER HERE
Our aim here is to briefly sketch an ‘idiot-proof’ outlines to be better understanding the Uber crisis of Australian taxi industries revolves around three central and related points which are not just grossly ignored but falsely misunderstood by nearly all politicians, media commentators as well as affected members of the public. First everyone assumes that ride-sharing apps (including the Uber model) simply involves a small booking fee to link up cars and passengers like Airbnb free of the corporate impulse to exploit and monopolise – when this is not really the case at all. Secondly, no relevant politician or bureaucrat let alone either media analyst or mere arm-chair social media commentator, has yet really focused on or really cared about how the effective legalisation of Uber in Australian states has (already) signaled the likewise effective end of the universal service obligations (USO) to service every relevant local community, to never refuse a legitimate fare, and to generally support the basic needs (especially at-risks groups such as the disabled, the elderly, and others at the margins) of the wider public as well as (a now debased) legal-policy requirement. [Reflecting the hasty inconsistency of how Uber was effeuctively legalized by the state government in Qld as elsewhere, politicians continue to assume that the USO of taxis will stay in place whilst they further contradict any semblance at all not of the very ‘level playing field’ market conditions used to justify legalising an Uber model of commercial share-riding in the first place].