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ACT to be world’s first capital to legalise ‘disruptive’ Uber

Woman orders a taxi from her  mobile phone

The ACT is set to be the first national capital to regulate online ride-sharing service, Uber, as the service prepares to legally enter the Canberra market from October 30th.

According to an ABC report the reforms to ACT legislation will see taxi licences immediately halved from $20,000 to $10,000 in order to ensure the taxi industry can remain competitive with the ride-sharing service. The legislation will also also allow accredited taxi and hire car drivers to carry passengers through Uber. The news comes two weeks after ACT taxi drivers staged a peak-hour strike over Uber’s plans to enter the Canberra market.

According to the ABC report, Uber drivers will be expected to meet a number of conditions under the new regulations including car inspections, driver assessments and medicals.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr told ABC 666 Canberra’s Philip Clark “what we’re seeking to do here is to improve transport services in Canberra.

“the new regulations would provide a level playing field for ride sharing services and existing operators like taxis and hire cars.”

Uber Australia’s general manager, David Rohrsheim, told the ABC “we’ve been calling for over a year now for regulations to be put in place… we expect to be regulated and we want to see regulations that enshrine safety standards, vehicle inspections, insurance.”

It is anticipated that the ACT regulations will set an example for other Australian jurisdictions where Uber still remains unregulated.