Brisbane Times, 19 February 2018, By Felicity Caldwell

Brisbane taxi licences have plummeted in value by 78 per cent in just three years.

In 2014, standard taxi licences in the city were selling, on average, for more than half a million dollars.

Last year, that figure dropped to $113,003, as the dominance of ride-sharing service Uber sounded a near-death knell for Brisbane taxi licence owners.

The value of wheelchair-accessible maxi-taxi licences nosedived 60 per cent in three years to $111,179, on average, in Brisbane in 2017.

Across Queensland, the value of limousine licences dropped 76 per cent to $16,529, on average.
The plunge in the value of taxi licences can be revealed following Fairfax Media analysis of Queensland government open data.

Uber came to Brisbane in 2014, and ride-sharing was legalised in September 2016, shaving thousands of dollars from the sale price.

​While 58 standard cab licences were sold in Brisbane in 2014, caution seemingly swept the market in 2015, with only 11 transfers, with 30 transfers in each of the two following years.

Taxi Council of Queensland chief executive Blair Davies said many licences were owned by “mum and dad” investors, whose investment was damaged due to the arrival of ride-sharing, which created an oversupply in transport options.

“Many of whom put their whole life into the taxi industry, and the taxi licence was their superannuation,” he said.

Mr Davies said there were very few buyers for taxi licences in the market.

“Until we can get some certainty back into the market … then it’s going to be difficult for the people who hold those licences to get a reasonable price for their asset,” he said.

“People who are selling those licences are doing so because their situation is desperate.”

The second stage of ride-sharing reforms has passed Queensland Parliament.

Moves to put GPS and security cameras in Uber fails

Mr Davies called on the government to level the playing field in compulsory third party insurance, as taxi licence holders paid $4461.80, while ride-sharing drivers paid $585.30.

He said $20,000 compensation paid to taxi licence holders, capped at two licences, was “completely inadequate”.

“They need to find some more money to help out people who have seen their superannuation assets devastated by this government policy,” Mr Davies said.

“The government really now needs to start getting serious about reviewing what it’s done and fixing the problems.”