June 11, 2015, 12:31 pm
Queensland should abandon any plans to ban global ride-sharing app Uber and look at ways to reduce taxi fares, says the boss of a rival taxi booking app.
Ned Moorfield, CEO and co-founder of goCatch, said Uber had created an uneven playing field in the Queensland taxi industry, but that didn't mean it should be banned.
goCatch allows passengers to directly connect with licensed drivers, and charges drivers part of their booking fee for the trip, whereas Uber connects two private individuals to arrange a ride.
"A response to shut it down would be wrong because that's just protecting the incumbents," Mr Moorfield told AAP on Thursday.
"Over time the regulations have evolved to protect the incumbents and stop competition."
Instead, the government should examine Uber's offering and look at how it could reduce operating costs - which had pushed up cab fares - for licensed taxi drivers.
This included reducing the expense of licensed taxi plates, which cost cab owners thousands each year to lease, he said.
Uber has also accused the government of protecting the taxis' monopoly, and says it's merely helping implement the government policy of encouraging car pooling.
But Taxi Council Queensland hit back, saying the taxi industry had more regulations and checks to abide by than Uber, which was trying to bully its way into the market.
The government has issues with Uber's regulation of drivers, criminal history checks and daily reporting, which occur in the broader taxi industry.
Mr Moorfield, who will meet Queensland's taxi regulator on Thursday afternoon, said the government needed to move quickly to create a level playing field, while ensuring public safety and requiring all drivers to have commercial insurance.