March 20, 2018
TCQ urges Government to act on passenger safety following latest Uber sexual assault
The latest report of a female passenger allegedly suffering a sexual assault by an Uber driver has brought
the Taxi Council of Queensland (TCQ) out swinging, demanding the Queensland Government act
immediately and do more to ensure the safety of passengers.
Police are currently investigating reports of a serious sexual assault that occurred in the early hours of
March 18, involving a young woman travelling from Fortitude Valley to Clayfield in an Uber.
CEO of the TCQ, Blair Davies says “enough is enough” and is urging the State Government to “act
urgently and boldly” to address the issue of safety in booked hire vehicles.
“We have been calling out the need for mandatory safety equipment in booked hire vehicles for some
time now,” says Mr Davies, “and yet nothing seems to sway the Government into seeing the urgency of
this matter. How many more incidents to we have to have before this issue is taken seriously?
“This is not the first time an incident of this kind has occurred. There have now been six separate serious
incidents in Queensland. The situation is clearly snowballing and we need bold, immediate action now
before any further passengers suffer from the lack of security in booked hire vehicles.”
The TCQ has highlighted the need for booked hire vehicles, such as Uber, to have mandatory security
equipment because it considers the current criminal history checks do not provide sufficient enough
protection for passengers.
“Criminal background checks work if the person has a record, but it does not protect passengers from
those that don’t,” warns Mr Davies. “This is where taxis with security cameras have come into their own
and why we see this as an important safety change the Government could make for passengers travelling
in booked hire vehicles.”
It was a Labor Government that, through consultation with The Taxi Council of Queensland, made it
mandatory for all taxis in this state to have security cameras as long ago as in 2005. Mr Davies says
“there are lessons to be learnt from this”.
“We know security cameras have improved passenger safety in taxis, so clearly this tactic would work for
booked hire vehicles too.There is no price you can put on passenger safety and the longer the current
Labor Government waits to take action on this the more incidents I fear we will see like the one reported
“People should be able to catch a taxi or a booked hire vehicle in Brisbane and feel that they are safe,”
added Mr Davies. “The TCQ will not stay silent on this issue until it is resolved. Now is the time to act,
before it is too late.”
March 16, 2018
CONSUMERS COULD BE THE UBER LOSERS IN LONG RUN, SAYS TCQ
The Taxi Council of Queensland (TCQ) is concerned that while Uber is pricing its services to win over consumers, an analysis of the booked-hire company’s financial position shows it is yet to turn a profit and if it continues to grow its market share, consumers will be the losers in the end.
TCQ CEO, Blair Davies, said Uber leads consumers to believe their low pricing means they are more efficient, however their losses prove that is not the case.
“Uber works extremely hard to downplay its continuous stream of losses, but according to a recent report1 has actually burnt through a staggering USD $10.7 billion in just nine years,” Mr Davies said.
“Uber appears to be trying to price its taxi competitors out of business, eliminating the competition and monopolising their market share. If they get monopoly control, it’ll then become time to pay the piper. We fear consumers face losing out in the end when Uber no longer needs to offer their unsustainably low fares.
“After years in the red, Uber will inevitably want to recoup their mountain of losses by increasing fares, with consumers ending up the ultimate losers in this scenario. Consumers can expect their experiences with surge pricing to move from being an exception to where they become the new norm.”
Mr Davies said even though Uber isn’t playing by the rules, the taxi industry is committed to providing robust competition for consumers to ensure this doesn’t happen.
“Typically if a competitor is providing a cheaper service, it’s because they are a more efficient business,” he said. “In the case of Uber, their financial losses prove this isn’t true, they just have a huge bucket of investor money to subsidise unprofitable pricing.
“We’re surprised that the ACCC seems to be happy to sit back and not take a more active role in this space. It seems that they are relying on Uber’s global competitors, like Didi, Ola and Taxify to bring a competitive balance to the Australian market. However, that just seems naïve when you look under the hood and find the level of cross ownerships and common investors of these companies,” Mr Davies said.
It is commonly reported that Japanese investment fund, SoftBank Group Corp, has sizeable stakes in all of the global ride-sourcing companies and is using that influence to discourage head-to-head competition between Uber and its other companies. Uber’s withdrawal from the China market in return for a stake in Didi is being mooted as a strategy that SoftBank is pushing Uber to repeat in India with Ola and in South East Asia with Grab2.
“The taxi industry just wants the opportunity to compete for customers where everyone plays by the rules. If the ACCC and State Government don’t step up their game to keep the market fair, it’ll be Queensland consumers who inevitably wear the consequences,” concluded Mr Davies.
Reference: 1. Bloomberg Technology - Uber Spent $10.7 Billion in Nine Years. Does It Have Enough to Show for It? Uber is a financial oddity. Can it mutate into a sustainable business? By Ian King and Eric Newcomer March 6, 2018, 9:00 PM GMT+10
Reference: 2. SoftBank's Got a Ticket to Ride - Uber's Stranded. This wasn't going to end well after the key shareholder shuffled market dominance. by Andy Mukherjee 8 March 2018, 4:57 pm AEST
25 January 2018
SUPPORT AN AUSSIE OWNED BUSINESS THIS AUSTRALIA DAY AND GRAB A CAB
Queensland taxi companies are gearing up for a busy Australia Day long weekend. While most people are enjoying a well-earned day off, the public holiday will see thousands of cabbies out on the road making sure their fellow Queenslanders get to and from family festivities, parties with friends, and even the odd protest rally safely and affordably.
The State Government is encouraging Queenslander’s to have a ‘Plan B’ in place as they celebrate our national day under its Join the Drive campaign to keep roads safe.
Taxi Council of Queensland CEO, Blair Davies, said the smartest plan for Australia Day is to leave the car at home and just grab a cab.
“We’ll have over 3,000 cabs at the ready to transport passengers all weekend, whether it’s to a backyard bar-b-que, celebrations in a park, or a night on the town,” he said.
“Queensland cabbies are professionals and collectively they are on the road all day, every day, serving their communities. Customers can trust their cabbie to have the skills and experience necessary to navigate through holiday traffic and road closures to pick them up and then get them to their destinations.
“Our aim this long weekend is to ensure every passenger experiences a reliable, affordable and hassle-free service.”
While ride-booking companies will be looking to implement money gouging methods such as surge pricing whenever demand picks up, Queenslanders can have confidence that taxi fares won’t be subject to spikes and exploitation.
“Our locally owned and operated taxi companies do not implement surge pricing because as Australians we don’t like rip offs either; we believe in a fair go for all,” Mr Davies said.
“This weekend we’re encouraging everyone to stay safe by grabbing a cab. In doing so you will be helping Australian businesses that own and operate your local taxi services to stay on the road and serve your community. This Australia day, it just makes sense, let’s make Australian businesses our
24 January 2018
ROCKY CABS LEGEND JAN BUTTERWORTH RECEIVES TCQ AWARD
Rockhampton Yellow Cabs owner Jan Butterworth believes everyone should be able to get around Rockhampton with ease, regardless of whether they have a disability.
The industry veteran of 37-years was recently awarded the Significant Achievement Award in the Taxi Council of Queensland Industry Awards for her integral role in implementing the first wheelchair accessible vehicles in the fleet.
Approaching her work with dedication and drive, Jan has always been passionate about providing the best possible service for her community and says going above and beyond for customers is exactly how a job should be done.
“That’s just how things work in regional areas – we see the same customers often weekly or even daily so you really build a rapport with them on a personal level,” Ms Butterworth said.
“It deeply saddens me knowing that before we offered our disability services, many Rockhampton residents were unable to travel far from their homes while recovering from illness or injury.
“It’s so important that we foster a community that promotes accessibility and creates equal opportunities for all.”
As the first in Queensland to implement the swivel seat, Rockhampton Yellow Cabs had never serviced a person in a wheelchair, but progressively they have seen hundreds of customers take to the service.
During her time as the cab company’s manager, Jan also introduced driver training in Rockhampton prior to it becoming mandatory in Queensland, and educated non-English speaking drivers on how to communicate with customers in English to ensure Rocky Cabs’ service offering was nothing short of exceptional.
Taxi Council of Queensland CEO, Blair Davies, commended Jan for her much deserved win, thanking her for her above-and-beyond contribution to the taxi service industry.
“It’s fantastic to see a person of such influence recognised for their consistent efforts at our industry awards,” Mr Davies said.
“Jan is a true leader and should be incredibly proud of her involvement in this field that has aided hundreds of new customers access the Yellow Cabs service in Rockhampton.
“It’s examples of fantastic customer service like this that will carry the Queensland Taxi Industry into the future as leaders in transport service,” he said.