Uber pays Aussie taxi drivers $272m in class action settlement

US technology giant Uber Technologies has settled in a class action lawsuit brought by a law firm on behalf of Australian taxi drivers, agreeing to pay $272 million. It is the fifth-largest class action settlement in Australian legal history.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers and former taxi driver Nick Andrianakis, who was the main plaintiff in the action, attended the Supreme Court of Victoria on Monday morning to close out a case that began in 2019.

The class action grew to incorporate more than 8000 taxi and chartered drivers. They said Uber had harmed them financially by setting up and running its UberX services in Australia illegally.

The case was due to run until May 17. But a deal has been struck, and was detailed on Monday morning.

In a statement, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers Principal Michael Donelly said the historic settlement followed a gruelling five-year legal battle.

“Uber fought tooth and nail at every point along the way,

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Queensland taxi, rideshare drivers issued hundreds of fines for incorrect parking, signage

17 January 2023

More than 600 fines have been given to Queensland taxi and rideshare drivers found to be operating in violation of industry guidelines.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey told ABC Radio Brisbane Mornings host Rebecca Levingston the enforcement blitz started in December and focused heavily around rides ordered and taken in Brisbane and the Gold Coast on and about December 31.
Authorities intercepted 2,056 taxis, limousines and booked hire vehicles.
Fines were issued for 31 different offences from December 2 to January 15, of varying amounts starting at $575, and included:

Failure to display a compliant booked hire sign — 179 fines
Unauthorised vehicle stopping in a bus zone — 130 fines
Stop in taxi zone while providing a booked hire service — 57 fines
Driver failure to carry their driver authorisation – 57 fines
Stop contrary to continuous yellow edge line – 67 fines

Other serious offences for which penalties were issued included driving an

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TCQ wants your input on taxi licensing reform

The Taxi Council of Queensland (TCQ) is planning to hold another round of town hall meetings across the State over the next few months to update members on developments and hear from them directly about what they would consider reasonable and acceptable in regard to taxi licensing reforms and compensation. The meetings will be similar in format to those held previously. TCQ wants to hear from all members of the industry so that we can use our seat at the negotiation table for maximum advantage. So, if you have a stake in the industry and want to have a say in where it is heading, TCQ is welcoming you to get involved.

REGISTER INTEREST HERE

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With 13cabs data showing female taxi drivers are in high demand, could women help to fill the cabbie shortage?

26 April 2022

Over the Easter long weekend the wait time for a taxi from Townsville airport was more than an hour.
There are 132 licensed cabbies in the city of 200,000 and Townsville Taxis director Darren Morse says that is about 80 drivers too few.
“The hardest part we’re now facing is … finding available drivers to put into those cars,” he said.
“And that’s drivers for day shift, drivers for night shift, and drivers who can just fill in those shifts when [they] need time off.”
Mr Morse said the business had tried to boost numbers through newspaper and radio advertising and by targeting university students and retirees looking for flexible work.
But the calls have gone unanswered and with the peak tourism period weeks away, Mr Morse says wait times will only increase.
But some think the answer to the driver shortage could be women.
Queensland’s largest taxi company, 13cabs, estimates only 11 per cent of drivers are women.
Data from

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Queenslanders with disabilities left in limbo as wheelchair-accessible taxis fail to turn up to bookings

26 April 2022

Mark McGrath has had to cancel countless appointments, social gatherings and almost missed his father’s funeral due to taxi delays.
The Gold Coast resident relies on wheelchair-accessible taxis every week but said he would do anything to avoid it.
“You never know whether they turn up in 20 minutes or an hour and a half,” Mr McGrath said.
“I will even take my power [wheelchair] and drive for two and a quarter hours, just to avoid that same cab trip.”
Even when he pre-booked a taxi to attend his father’s funeral, Mr McGrath almost missed it.
“I rang the day before, and I booked the cab to pick me up at 1pm and the ceremony was at 2pm, and it was only about 15 minutes away.
“I thought, ‘oh perfect time, I’ll be very early. It will be great’,” he said.
After several phone calls and an anxious wait, the company eventually added Mr McGrath to their priority list,

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Mobile phone and seatbelt detection cameras – get the facts

Portable and fixed cameras to detect illegal mobile phone use, and failure to wear a seatbelt are operating across Queensland. The cameras operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in urban and regional areas. You can be caught anywhere, anytime.

The cameras were introduced to address the dangerous behaviours of mobile phone distraction and travelling unrestrained in a vehicle.

Research shows mobile phone distraction quadruples the risk of crashing and is just as dangerous as drink driving. If you take your eyes off the road for just two seconds, in a vehicle moving at 60km/h, you will travel more than 33 metres while distracted.

A properly worn seatbelt is proven to reduce the risk of serious injury by 50 per cent and death by 45 per cent. A crash without one, at just 40km/h, has the same impact on your body as falling from a two-storey building.

The technology
The cameras use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to

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Labels required for Electric and Hydrogen Vehicles

30 September 2021
 
Electric, hybrid and hydrogen-powered vehicles can cause hazards for emergency service workers in certain rescue situations. The Queensland government has introduced the requirement for these vehicles to be labelled.

 

When do I need my label?

If an electric, hybrid or hydrogen-powered vehicle was built after 1 January 2019, or an existing vehicle was modified to be these types after 1 January 2019, the registered owner must display specific labels on the vehicles front and rear number plates. 

Enforcement of this requirement will begin in October 2021, however until 1 January 2022, this will be as an educational approach. Throughout this period no fines or penalties will be given, this will allow time for drivers to attach their labels. 

Fastening your label to your number plate

The Department of Transport and Main Roads has not mandated any specific way of fitting the labels to number plates, as long as the labels are securely fitted.

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Taxi customers don’t have to use check-in code when in taxi

10 August 2021

A dangerous oversight that means taxi customers don’t have to check-in using a QR code has resulted in a taxi driver being infectious in the community for 10 days because he was not identified as a close contact of an infected pilot.

Authorities revealed yesterday that the cab driver caught the virus from a passenger – a Cairns marine pilot who tested positive to the virus early last week.

It is not clear why the taxi driver was not identified as a close contact during contact tracing efforts with Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young saying it is not always possible to catch everyone.

Despite calls from the Taxi Council of Queensland for the use of QR codes to be mandated in cabs like has been done in other states the government is yet to act.

While Health Minister Yvette D’Ath stopped short of saying she would implement the change she said the

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Big Win for Queensland Cabbies on CTP

Media release
August 3, 2021

The Taxi Council of Queensland (TCQ) has welcomed the decision by the Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC) to fix anomalies in Queensland’s Compulsory Third Party (CTP) scheme that have seen taxi operators paying up to $4,000 more per vehicle than their counterparts in the rest of the personalised transport sector.

Under reforms announced by MAIC:

from 1 October 2021, the “base insurer premium” that forms the substantive part of the total CTP insurance premium will be equalised for taxi sedans and wagons (Class 3), rental cars (Class 4), and booked hire vehicles (Class 26); and
from 1 July 2022, all other components of the total CTP insurance premium will be equalised for taxis, rentals and booked hire vehicles.

Currently, an ordinary Queensland cabbie (Class 3) pays 230% more each year in CTP than a full-time rideshare driver driving their own vehicle (Class 26) and that rideshare driver pay

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2021 Notice of Annual General Meeting

Members are advised that the 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Taxi Council of Queensland Incorporated (TCQ) will be held as follows –

Time:    9.30am to 10.30am
Date:    Monday 2 August 2021
Place:   The Star Gold Coast, Broadbeach Island, Broadbeach

The Agenda for the AGM will be as follows:

Confirmation of the minutes of the 2020 Annual General Meeting
Receiving of the Annual Report
Election of the Councillors
Election of Office Bearers (President, Senior Vice President, Junior Vice President / Secretary / Treasurer)
Appointment of the Auditor
Notices of motion
General Business

All TCQ members are welcome to attend the 2021 AGM. However, only members who have pre-registered for the AGM by 4:30pm on Wednesday 28 July 2021 will be allowed admission into the meeting. To pre-register, please click here to access the AGM registration form.

If you have any issues completing pre-registration, please contact the TCQ office on (07) 3434 2100 for assistance.

Blair Davies
CEO
Taxi Council Queensland

2 July 2021

 
Selected Rules relating to the AGM in the TCQ Constitution
13.1  The Council of

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