30 APRIL 2014 The NSW Taxi Council has welcomed the announcement by Transport for NSW today that the laws covering public passenger services in this State have not changed and that anyone offering these services has to comply with the Passenger Transport Act.
This comes after several ridesharing companies began recruiting private drivers in Sydney to transport paying passengers in their own cars, a move which has been banned in some US States and parts of Europe.
“Regulations for public passenger services are there to protect the public interest including ensuring drivers undergo rigorous background checks, vehicles meet a minimum standard and that the organisations providing that service are held accountable for both public and driver safety,” Taxi Council CEO, Roy Wakelin-King said.
“The Industry, through taxi networks, is accountable under the law for ensuring there are effective safety and reliability systems in place for passengers and drivers and that detailed records of each and every journey, driver and vehicle is kept for these purposes. These measures also come at a cost to the networks.
“Ridesharing services are operating outside the requirements of the Passenger Transport Act and therefore pose an unacceptable risk to the public. Concerns are being raised about similar services by regulators in a number of States in the US and parts of Europe in relation to criminal background checks and questions over proper insurance cover.
“This is not about competition it is about a level playing field. The Taxi Industry recognises that it has to provide a service that the public has confidence in and that it must keep working on improving that service,” Mr Wakelin-King said.