Blainey Woodham

Ridesharing regulation may lead to better taxi competition

A CONSUMER group is predicting better prices across taxi and ridesharing services following the NSW Government's decision to legalise the services.'s Bessie Hassan said some users were concerned about the government's compensation package, which would be partly funded by customers, for traditional taxi drivers.

The regulation of Uber and other ridesharing services came with a $250 million industry adjustment package to compensate the taxi drivers.

"However, all point-to-point rides including Uber and cabs will face a $1 per trip levy to fund taxi licensee compensation," Choice's Matt Levey said.

"This taxi tax will see all consumers pay more to compensate an industry that refused to innovate or improve its customer service."

But Ms Hassan said passengers had nothing to worry about, at least in the short term.

"In fact, it will be interesting to see how taxis respond to this news," she said.

"There's already some speculation that taxis may reduce - or chop entirely - credit card surcharges to remain competitive.

"More choice in the market leads to better value."

Despite Uber's popularity, Ms Hassan pointed out there were some aspects important to passengers that the ridesharing service did not offer.

She said 4.5 million Australians wanted the option to pay cash for their trip and four million wanted to be able to hail a ride.

"These are both things Uber does not currently facilitate, which leans in the favour of taxi drivers," Ms Hassan said. 


What Australians care most about in their drivers

Car cleanliness - 51%

Trip cost - 50%

No extra charge for credit cards - 43% (currently all NSW taxis charge 5%)

Being able to pay cash - 25%

Ability to hail a car - 22%

Source: national survey