The Chronicle, by TOBI LOFTUS
21st Feb 2018
THE impact of Uber on Toowoomba's taxi industry has been revealed in new data released by the Queensland Government.
The cost of transferring a taxi licence in the city dropped almost $300,000 in the two years since Uber launched in Toowoomba.
The Limousine and taxi service licence values data, released by the State Government this month, show from 2009 to 2015 the cost of transferring a licence was between $300,000 and $360,000.
After Uber's launch in the Garden City in 2016, at the same time as ride sharing was legalised in Queensland, the cost of transferring a licence dropped to between $63,000 and $75,000.
Taxi Council Queensland CEO Blair Davies said this drop had devastated taxi licence owners in Toowoomba.
"It's like somebody who owns a house and the value of that plummets," he said.
"Some acquire the licence for superannuation (and) expect to sell the licence for a decent price to fund retirement."
Taxi service licence values in Toowoomba, 2009-2017
Mr Davies said there was also inequality in the amount of CTP insurance taxi drivers had to pay compared to Uber drivers; $4462 compared to $582.
A spokesperson for Uber said the company had enjoyed an "enthusiastic embrace" of ridesharing in Toowoomba.
"Whether it be riders seeking a reliable, affordable and safe way across town, or drivers accessing a flexible economic opportunity, we are proud to be serving the city and its people," the spokesperson said.
Uber could not state how many riders or drivers it had in the city because of due to confidentiality reasons.
Toowoomba taxi company Garden City Cabs was contacted for comment.
READ MORE: https://m.thechronicle.com.au/news/how-uber-has-disrupted-toowoomba-taxi-industry/3340304/
Brisbane Times, By Felicity Caldwell
20 February 2018
The Sunshine Coast is among the worst-hit regions in the state by the savage collapse in the value of taxi licences.
And the pain was not only felt in cities where ride-sharing app Uber was available.
Fairfax Media analysis revealed Brisbane standard taxi licences were selling, on average, for more than $503,000 in 2014.
That dropped to $113,003 in 2017, a decrease in value of 78 per cent.
On the Sunshine Coast, licences were selling for $391,250 on average in 2014, but there were only two sales in 2017, averaging $46,000 - a drop of 88 per cent.
On the Gold Coast, sales averaged $552,693 in 2014 and dropped 68 per cent to $175,766 in 2017.
In Ipswich, licence values dropped 64 per cent to $120,000.
Toowoomba licences dropped 80 per cent to $71,000.
No standard cab licences have been sold in Cairns, Gympie or Bundaberg since 2015, while none have sold in Townsville or Gladstone since 2014, in a sign of skittish market and a dearth of buyers.
Uber operates in south-east Queensland, from Moreton Bay, Ipswich, Brisbane, Logan and the Redlands; Cairns; the Gold Coast; Sunshine Coast; Toowoomba and Townsville.
But the effect on taxi licences was even felt in regional areas such as Mackay, Rockhampton and Mount Isa, where the ride-sharing app was not yet available.
In 2009, seven Mount Isa taxi licences changed hands for between $184,840 and $220,000, but the three sales in 2017 were for $35,000, $40,000 and $100,000.
Uber came to Brisbane in 2014 and was legalised in Queensland in September 2016.
Taxi Council of Queensland chief executive Blair Davies said there were very few buyers for taxi licences in the market.
READ MORE: https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/queensland/value-of-taxi-licences-plummets-across-queensland-even-without-uber-20180220-p4z0yo.html
Brisbane Times, 19 February 2018, By Felicity Caldwell
Brisbane taxi licences have plummeted in value by 78 per cent in just three years.
In 2014, standard taxi licences in the city were selling, on average, for more than half a million dollars.
Last year, that figure dropped to $113,003, as the dominance of ride-sharing service Uber sounded a near-death knell for Brisbane taxi licence owners.
The value of wheelchair-accessible maxi-taxi licences nosedived 60 per cent in three years to $111,179, on average, in Brisbane in 2017.
Across Queensland, the value of limousine licences dropped 76 per cent to $16,529, on average.
The plunge in the value of taxi licences can be revealed following Fairfax Media analysis of Queensland government open data.
Uber came to Brisbane in 2014, and ride-sharing was legalised in September 2016, shaving thousands of dollars from the sale price.
While 58 standard cab licences were sold in Brisbane in 2014, caution seemingly swept the market in 2015, with only 11 transfers, with 30 transfers in each of the two following years.
Taxi Council of Queensland chief executive Blair Davies said many licences were owned by "mum and dad" investors, whose investment was damaged due to the arrival of ride-sharing, which created an oversupply in transport options.
"Many of whom put their whole life into the taxi industry, and the taxi licence was their superannuation," he said.
Mr Davies said there were very few buyers for taxi licences in the market.
"Until we can get some certainty back into the market ... then it's going to be difficult for the people who hold those licences to get a reasonable price for their asset," he said.
"People who are selling those licences are doing so because their situation is desperate."
The second stage of ride-sharing reforms has passed Queensland Parliament.
Moves to put GPS and security cameras in Uber fails
Mr Davies called on the government to level the playing field in compulsory third party insurance, as taxi licence holders paid $4461.80, while ride-sharing drivers paid $585.30.
He said $20,000 compensation paid to taxi licence holders, capped at two licences, was "completely inadequate".
"They need to find some more money to help out people who have seen their superannuation assets devastated by this government policy," Mr Davies said.
"The government really now needs to start getting serious about reviewing what it's done and fixing the problems."
READ MORE: https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/queensland/the-graph-that-shows-exactly-when-uber-wounded-brisbane-s-taxis-20180219-p4z0vq.html
Taxi Council Qld CEO Blair Davies Interview 1:40:53 - 1:45:42