Growing industry support for cap on booked-hire vehicles

Media release
12 July 2019

For over 12 months, Queensland’s peak taxi body has been urging the State Government to act on congestion problems in South East Queensland, and the wasteful use of resources associated with ever-increasing numbers of booked-hire vehicles.

The Taxi Council of Queensland (TCQ) is pleased to see ride-sourcing driver associations joining the chorus of groups concerned about the issue. The latest being the Rideshare Drivers in Cooperation Queensland has identified that excessive numbers of booked-hire vehicles on the road is devasting for drivers trying to earn a living.

TCQ CEO, Blair Davies welcomes support from all quarters within the Personalised Transport Industry to join the Council’s call.

“The taxi industry has been spearheading the call for the Government to learn the lessons of cities like New York and to act early rather than waiting until it’s too late,” Mr Davies said.

“New York has been inundated with a flood of booked-hire vehicles gridlocking Manhattan streets, causing massive strain on the city’s traffic flow. Mayor de Blasio’s regret in not implementing a cap and stronger regulations back in 2015 has clearly not just impacted the livelihoods of hardworking taxi drivers, it has choked the roads and polluted the skies for every New Yorker.

“There are more than 16,000 booked-hire cars in Queensland compared to approximately 3,250 taxis. The State Government doesn’t need to get overly brave and take vehicles off the road. If it just presses the pause button now, it can stop the problem from getting worse and give itself some breathing space to carefully review the situation.

“We’re pleased to see other stakeholders in the Personalised Transport industry recognising the problem and jumping on our bandwagon. It’s a problem that is only going to get worse until the Government steps in and stops issuing more and more booked-hire vehicle licences.”

TCQ believes there is real momentum building around the issue. Stakeholders and the general community are being badly impacted, and they want the Government to do something about it.

“Queensland should not be a cautionary tale for others. The Government needs to focus on the harm being caused by uncapped numbers of booked vehicles going on the road. The drivers are being hurt, other road users are delayed by the greater congestion, and our air quality is worsened unnecessarily by more and more vehicles circling the city looking for the same customers,” continued Mr Davies.

“It’s clear New York’s timid strategy in 2015 did not work. The Queensland Government needs to muscle up to companies like Uber and other overseas booked-hire platforms and take back control of our streets. It’s critical now more than ever for regulators to pick up the pace on their Stage 3 review of the Personalised Transport reforms and fix the regulatory loopholes as soon as possible.”