Media Release
October 25, 2016

Taxi Council Queensland (TCQ) has revealed that other countries are insisting that rideshare drivers are proficient in not only verbal but written English while the Queensland Government is lowering the standards.

TCQ chief executive officer Benjamin Wash referred to the decision by the London Transit Authority that “drivers of private hire vehicles must speak, listen to, read, and write English to a set level” as sensible regulation but said Uber in the UK opposed the move.

“The reality is that Uber and other rideshare companies across the world want no regulations because their business model is based on a race to the bottom.

Mr Wash said Reuters reported only last week that Uber was taking legal action against London’s insistence that their drivers know English.

“Instead of doing what other countries have done, and raising the bar to ensure rideshare meets the high standards expected of taxis, the Palaszczuk Government has lowered taxi standards and set the bar at the lowest point, ensuring even ‘Dodgy Brothers Rideshare’ can operate.

“The Government has put the interests of a foreign company that pays no local tax ahead of providing a high standard of service to Queenslanders.”

The Reuters report quoted the London transport operator TfL as saying, “Drivers must be able to communicate with passengers to discuss a route, or fare, as well as reading and understanding important regulatory, safety and travel information.”

This is not only sensible but essential according to Mr Wash, who pointed out that English language is only one of the ways in which the Government has lowered the bar.

“We must remember that at this stage there is basically no regulations for rideshare at all in Queensland; they can do as they like.

“If the Government truly believes that calling a transport service rideshare instead of taxi somehow ensures a long-term, high quality service without regulation, they are well and truly living in fantasy land.”