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.