Date June 25, 2015 - 2:40AM
Uber is helping to fill the state coffers, with drivers for the ride-sharing service fined more than $1.7 million in the past 12 months.
A cease and desist order has been in place on the app-based company since May last year, with transport officials slapping drivers with fines of up to $1707 for operating without authorisation.
Providing a taxi service without an appropriate licence can bring a fine of $1366.
In the past year, 1536 infringement notices have been issued against 538 drivers for a total value of $1,732,262. Of those, 1234 fines have been paid, reaping the state $1,415,213.
It is understood Uber pays the fines for its driver.
A spokeswoman for the company said Uber didn't "believe anyone should be penalised for providing safe, reliable rides in their city and Uber will always stand by our driver partners".
Governments across the world have been caught in a battle between the established taxi industry and ride-sharing apps.
The Taxi Council, which until recently was displaying a running total of Uber fines on a billboard in the Valley, has been very supportive of the government's response to the ride-share app, lobbying for the state to impose the same licence restrictions on it as the taxi industry experiences.
But Uber has been lobbying just as hard, recently releasing its own advertising highlighting what it says are its safety advantages, in response from one from the taxi industry which highlighted what it said were its safety disadvantages.
Queensland has been negotiating a fine line with both.
In May, Uber wrote to each of the state's 89 MPs asking the government to "enter into meaningful conversations about reform and recognise ridesharing as a new and distinct form of point-to-point transport that requires a new regulatory approach".
The Queensland Taxi Council countered Uber was attempting to "bully" its way into the marketplace, with an unfair advantage.
The state's taxi strategy, set down five years ago, expires this year.
By SARAH MICHAEL FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA
PUBLISHED: 01:09 EST, 17 June 2015 | UPDATED: 01:10 EST, 17 June 2015
Ride sharing company Uber has cut the prices of its controversial UberX service by 10 per cent in Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
Uber made the announcement on Wednesday that it would discount its fares until early August in an attempt to get more passangers using the app.
The app's UberX service is operated drivers in privately-owner cars, with customers getting a cheaper fare than a regular taxi.
The taxi industry has labelled Uber - particularly its UberX service - 'dangerous and illegal' and state governments have issued fines to UberX drivers for 'operating a commercial passenger vehicle without a licence'.
Uber made the announcement on Friday that it would discount UberX fares in the Victorian capital indefinitely, after dropping its price by 20 per cent in Perth last month
This comes after Uber dropped UberX prices by 15 per cent in Melbourne last month, and by 20 per cent in Perth in April.
Last month marked one year since UberX launched in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and the service has since also launched in the Gold Coast, Geelong and Perth.
Uber said more than 4000 people in Melbourne, 3000 in Sydney and 2000 in Brisbane had taken up jobs as UberX drivers over 12 months.
Simon Rossi said at the time: 'We [dropped prices] four weeks ago in Perth and the results were amazing, we saw tremendous trip growth which meant more riders are coming to the platform to ride.'
He said Melbourne was the biggest market for UberX in Australia, with more than 4000 drivers operating.
The app's UberX service offers customers cheaper fares than taxis for rides in drivers' privately-owned cars
Uber is considered the black sheep of the taxi industry in Australia, with state governments campaigning against UberX and fining drivers who take up jobs with the service.
But hundreds of thousands of Australian's are using the ride-sharing app which not only promises cheaper taxi fares but has also pledged to create 20,000 new jobs Down Under in 2015.
Aside from stringent taxi licensing laws, a lot of the issues around Uber X stem from the fact people fear they are essentially climbing into a stranger's car.
Reports of assaults allegedly committed by Uber drivers, especially in the US, have compounded that fear.
The Taxi Council Queensland last year began an anti-Uber campaign based on this theory, using the slogan 'Don't risk your life - Rideshare apps are unlawful, unsafe and uninsured'.
TCQ chief executive Benjamin Wash said: 'You simply don't know who is behind the wheel.'
However, this is somewhat untrue, as many Uber X users know. Before an Uber car arrives you are shown the details and a photo of the person who is picking you up on the app, allowing you to share the information with friends if you so wish.
'From request to drop-off, the entire Uber experience is geared towards ensuring reliability and safety,' Uber explained.
'Upon requesting a ride, our technology provides the rider with their driver's name, photograph, licence plate, vehicle type, and a contact number. The rider can see the vehicle approaching on a map, and share their journey in real time with friends or loved ones using our Share My ETA feature.'
And Uber spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia 'every Uber partner must have passed a criminal background check through the Australian Federal Police's Crimtrac database before they are allowed to drive on the platform'.
That does not mean there haven't been horror stories so far. In Melbourne, a teenager was allegedly indecently assaulted by an Uber driver she hired to take her home on New Year's Day.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3125885/UberX-slashes-prices-10-cent-Sydney-Brisbane-Gold-Coast.html#ixzz3dH3tRBbq
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.