DRIVE NOW October/November 2021

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Australia's only Magazine for the Commercial Passenger Transport Industry. News and views for Drivers, Owners and Operators of Taxi, Hire Car, Limousine, Ride Share, Booked Hire Vehicles, Rank and Hail Cars.




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4 October/November 2021







8 Passenger Service Levy & Smartmove dispatcher.

9 Bathurst Taxis delivers hampers.

10 Transport for NSW partners with Motional.

11 Get to know Susan Thompson.

12 Industry reforms and licence assistance.


14 TAA presentation to MPTP Inquiry.

20 Shebah is in the hands of administrators.

22 Drivers welcome back passengers.

24 VALE - Isobel White.


28 Mediation services for PT industry.

29 There’s no excuse for abuse.


18 Australia must speed up the shift to electric vehicles.

30 Where are new car sales headed?

34 Exclusive lanes needed for autonomous vehicles.

40 Uber and Lyft rideshare bubble bursts.

42 Beware the yellow line.

44 It’s a flying car.


46 Uber drivers are employees, not contractors.


Ride-hailing coverage issues push passengers

back to black taxis.


50 Transport Subsidy Scheme has been updated.

October/November 2021




The people

refute the

NSW Taxi Reform

Taxi Licences were once considered to be a perpetual asset (the same as a house) by the highest

court in the Australian judicial system. Now, in most Australian States, they are worthless.

How on Earth has it come to this? Well, it simply dumbs down to one word - Uber.

I will explain. When

Uber invaded Australia

in 2012, the States’ and

Territorys’ governments

did nothing of substance

to get them out, even

though they were

operating illicitly. After

Uber infiltrated the

Australian transportation

industry, taxi licence

values all around

Australia began to depreciate. Don’t believe me? Look at the figures for NSW; they do not lie.

As you will be able to descry, a licence that was once worth upward of $400,000 is now worth

next to nothing. And to exacerbate things, the proposed NSW Taxi Reform plans to devalue the

worth of these Taxi licences categorically.

The NSW government has failed to outline an exact monetary value for its State’s Taxi Licences’

worth after the reform, only pointing towards a sneakily phrased initiative called the ‘financial

6 October/November 2021

assistance scheme’. There is widespread conjecture that this is indicative of a oneoff

amount of $50,000 per licence, for up to two metropolitan Taxi licences and

nothing for any subsequent licences.

It is simply an attempt to cover their butts. Despite the government contending

that devaluing these licences may avail the struggling economy and sanction them

to have better control over the number of vehicles on the road, they have clearly

not considered the salubrity of the drivers and stakeholders.

In a recent interview, 2GB radio presenter, Ray Hadley said, “I represent the taxi

industry because they’re decent, hardworking people and, yes, they have to

accommodate competition – we understand that but they can’t be treated like

offal by the New South Wales State government,” and “They want to take back all

taxi plates for a minimal sum, and that’s if you’ve got two plates. If, as you would in

some rural areas, have six or seven plates, you only get the money for two.”

This typifies the unjust nature of the proposed reform.

In the same broadcast, Martin Rogers, CEO NSW Taxi Council, commented, “The

government needs to go back to 2015, pre reforms, look at the values that these

people have invested in and pay appropriate compensation. You can’t just cancel

someone’s asset that they’ve worked hard for and give them minimal or nothing

for it.”

He also went on to say, “There was an Upper House inquiry that found that 80%

of the losses of [licence plate] value were a direct result of the government’s

handling of the introduction of ride-share and they recommended a buyback of

all ordinary taxi licences. Unfortunately, the government chose to ignore the

recommendations of that inquiry”.

Drivers and owners are losing so much with this reform, and they know it. This

reform will extravagantly impact the lives of these hard-working people. They will

have their hard-earned assets stripped away, and for what? To help international

conglomerates, and fail the Australian Taxi industry?

“If they want to deregulate it – go for your life, but make sure you compensate

the people who’ve operated in the system that’s been in place for decades and

decades and decades” (Ray Hadley).

I couldn’t agree more!

Toni Peters

October/November 2021 7


NSW News



Levy and


SmartMove Systems

– A strategic partner

of the NSW Taxi

Council has recently

launched a new

feature on its Taxi

Dispatch System

– SmartMove,

that will help Taxi

Service Providers

(Taxi Networks),

Operators and

Drivers collect,

report and pay the

Passenger Service

Levy (PSL) on the



This newly installed feature allows Networks to:

• Collect pre-payment of the levy by debiting the driver’s credit card.

• Set the debit to be automatic when the driver’s balance is below a


• Run a Driver Credit Management report which will highlight those Drivers

with low balances (e.g. their direct debit failed).

• Run Job Totals to report and pay the levy to the appropriate authorities on

the Driver’s behalf.

For the Drivers, the feature:

• Allows the driver to add a credit card to set and forget paying the levy.

• Shows their current levy credit balance on the Driver’s Portal along with all

the transactions that occurred.

• Warns the driver via a Driver message when their balance is below


Discussing the new feature of SmartMove’s dispatch system, Adam Thornley

– Business Development Manager, SmartMove said, “Some Taxi networks pay

for third party products to manage the collection of the various passenger

service levies from the Driver/Operator of the Taxi. The new PSL collection

feature minimises the hassles and headaches Service Providers face associated

with managing the collection, reporting and payment of the various state

passenger service levies to meet their own State’s regulatory obligations, saving

administration hours.”

8 October/November 2021


Bathurst Taxis


Bathurst Taxis and the Bathurst

Uniting Support Services (BUSS)

partnered to create hampers for

people in need during lockdown.

The idea came from Bathurst Taxis

chairman Arshdeep 'Ash' Nat, who

has been supported by directors

Mick Clayton and Amrit Singh. Mr

Nat approached BUSS to see if they

could work together to create the

hampers, and a partnership was


“During these tough times, it's

good as a united community if we

can help each other. If we are able

to help, we should help, that's the

whole idea behind it, so whoever is

isolated, they can get the support,”

Mr Nat said.

Together, they created 20 family

hampers and 30 singles hampers, all

of which were delivered by Bathurst

Taxis drivers in September 2021.

The hampers included groceries

purchased from Bernardi's Bathurst,

such as bread, noodles, pasta, tea,

coffee and muesli bars.

Bathurst Taxis contributed $1,500,

while the Bathurst Uniting Church

chipped in $500 to help buy items.

BUSS coordinator Julie Fry said it

has been a team effort to create

the hampers, not just with Bathurst

Taxis, but with businesses and a

community member who donated a

significant number of oranges.

“It's been a great partnership. We

worked with [Bathurst Taxis] to

design the hampers and to get

a list of people together,” she

said. “They brightened people’s

day and showed that they are not


by Rachel Chamberlain

The new Passenger Service Levy

(PSL) collection feature is fully

integrated with the SmartMove

dispatch system and is included

as part of the popular all-inclusive

pricing model. The driver “prepays”

the PSL using a nominated

credit card. The PSL is automatically

deducted after each applicable

job (some jobs may not attract the

PSL). When the balance is below a

threshold, the driver’s credit card is

automatically debited to top up the


The Taxi Network can run daily,

weekly or monthly reports to

determine how much PSL is payable

by each driver/operator.

For more information, email

or visit www.smartmovesystems.


October/November 2021



The Driverless




New South Wales is one step

closer to autonomous mobility

with Transport for NSW launching

a plan to investigate driverless

rideshare services.

Joost de Kock, Deputy Secretary

Customer Strategy and

Technology, Transport for NSW

said the plan would help lay the

foundation to prepare the launch

of a future robotaxi service in

what would be an Australian-first.

“We need to start thinking

about a number of factors such

as locations and infrastructure,

passenger demand, connections to

public transport, and the benefits

to local communities,” Mr de Kock


“To help us start that journey,

we’re announcing a new

partnership with a global leader in

driverless technology, Motional.

“The partnership will help us

better understand how a driverless

rideshare service could improve

the NSW network by providing

safer, more accessible, efficient,

and affordable mobility options

and understanding what needs to

be adapted for Australian roads.”

Motional is at the forefront of

driverless technology and is

behind some of the industry’s

largest leaps forward. In

Singapore, the company launched

the first-ever robotaxi pilot, and in

Las Vegas it operates the longeststanding

commercial robotaxi in


That service has provided more

than 100,000 rides with zero atfault

incidents. Earlier this year,

Motional also became among the

first in the world to operate fully

driverless vehicles on public roads,

following a robust two-year safety

evaluation process.



to Know...

Susan Thompson

Advocacy Advisor, Vision Australia

My work involves supporting people who are blind

or have low vision to address barriers they have

faced in doing something in their lives because of

their blindness or low vision. Sometimes, it is direct

discrimination such as denying them access with a

Seeing Eye Dog. Sometimes an organisation has not

thought of people with disabilities when they have

introduced a new way to do something (such as a

touch screen check-out scanner) or touch screen

information kiosks.

I represent the organisation on a range of




1. Tell us three things you find


• People who don’t do anything in

their daily life towards protecting

the environment.

• People who seem to have no

rational reason for not being

vaccinated against diseases which

can spread and have a big impact

on those who catch them.

• Friends who say “what’s up”

when I call them to say “hello”.

2. If you could be anywhere other

than here where would you be?

I would love to have the experience of

being in space - so I would love to be on

the International Space Station.

3. Flashback to when you were 10

years old. What did you want to be

when you grew up?

I clearly remember setting up

classrooms with chairs, playing teacher,

dressing up as a nurse, and as I got

towards the end of school I wanted

to be a physiotherapist. This meant

going to England to train as there

were no training courses in Australia

that catered for people who were

blind. However, as it turned out, I did

not achieve the end of school, results


consultation forums including the NSW Taxi Council’s

Disability reference group.

As I am totally blind, taxi travel is an important part

of my link to the community, and I am committed

to working with the taxi industry to continuously

improve the experience for all people who are blind

or have low vision.

Prior to coming to Vision Australia, I worked for

the Australian Broadcasting Authority for 20 years.

During that time, I took a year off and lived and

worked in Anchorage, Alaska for a year.

4. If we went to happy hour, what

would you order?

I love to try out new beers and also love

the cocktail mojito but, these days can’t

handle having hangovers so I probably

wouldn’t drink both these in the same


5. Finish this sentence. On Sunday

mornings, you can usually find


Sitting up in bed with a coffee and a

talking book of science fiction, crime

and detective or good old-fashioned

romance keeping me company.

6. How do you think your

colleagues would describe you?

Forthright, having definite opinions and

being supportive.

October/November 2021







The NSW Taxi Council is advocating

for fair and just compensation for

the drastic drop in the value of Taxi

licences in NSW and the ensuing

loss suffered by its members

(licence holders). The NSW Taxi

Council submitted a petition to

the NSW Parliament to buy back

the Taxi licences in September -

October 2019. This petition was

unanimously accepted by the

Parliament and resulted in -

1. Point to Point Independent

Review 2020 - conducted by the

NSW government; and

2. Parliamentary Upper House

Inquiry into the Operation of the

Point to Point Transport (Taxis and

Hire Vehicles) Act 2016

The reports for both the

review and inquiry have been

released, and the government

has responded to the

recommendations in both the


Based on recommendations in

the reports, Transport for NSW

has announced the Point to Point

Transport Reforms 2021.

As part of the industry

consultation for these reforms,

Transport for NSW conducted a

series of webinars and surveys. All

webinars and surveys have now

been completed and closed. Fact

sheets for information from the

webinar is available.

NSW Taxi Council is currently

asking all Taxi licence owners

across NSW to visit their local

members of parliament and

update them about the NSW Taxi

Industry reforms proposed by the

NSW government.

NSW Taxi Council continues to

engage with the NSW government

and advocate for fair and just

financial assistance to Taxi licence

owners and help Taxi licence

holders and businesses stay in the

industry and transition to new

ways of working as smoothly as



NSW Taxi Council has compiled a document

containing hints on what to talk about with your

local MP. You can download the document at

It is important that “we all continue to be a part

of the chorus”.

If you haven’t made an appointment with your

local MP, please go to to

find details of your local MP.

Reminder, if you do not get a response from

your Local Member, Jo Haylen (Shadow Minister

for Transport and Roads) and Jenny Aitchison

(Shadow Minister for Regional Transport and

Roads) would be interested to hear from you.

Please email them at summerhill@parliament.

12 October/November 2021




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TAA Meetings

with relevant industry stakeholders

Victorian Parliament’s Economy and Infrastructure

Committee is currently conducting an inquiry into the

Multi Purpose Taxi Program (MPTP).

The inquiry is primarily about the safety standards for

members of the public who travel on the Multi Purpose

Taxi Program (MPTP), including but not limited to —

Transport Alliance Australia – looking after

the interests of those in the Australian

commercial passenger transport sector.

1. a review of the minimum safety requirements for vehicles operating within the

MPTP scheme;

2. the consideration of a mandatory maximum fare rate across all MPTP work;

3. an examination of how of rorting and exploitation of vulnerable users will be


4. an assessment of the financial impacts to services within the broader disability

sector and how this will be managed;

5. an examination of pathways for the industry to absorb major change post-


6. ensuring proper probity and good governance are applied following careful

consideration and reporting of all possible ramifications of consultations with

both industry and disability stakeholders; and

7. an assessment of the impact of the expansion on MPTP clients, taking into

account feedback on the expansion from Victorians living with disability and the

disability sector.

Many industry stakeholders had already lodged written submissions to be

considered by this inquiry, and a few were invited to present and called upon to be

witnesses to this inquiry, including TAA, VTA, 13cabs, Uber, Vision Australia, Bendigo

Taxis, Geelong Taxis, Wodonga Taxis and CPVV.

14 October/November 2021

TAA was invited to present to the committee and we have printed

their opening comments here, for your information.

Transport Alliance Australia

represent the owners, drivers,

operators of taxis, hire cars,

and rideshare in the Australian

commercial passenger transport

sector. The roots of our

association are in Victoria, as are

the majority of our members.

The committee no doubt

appreciates the magnitude

of the impact the pandemic

has had on the CPV industry

in Victoria. The industry has

been devastated, with up to

a 90 - 95% reduction in trips

and associated revenue for an

extended period of time.

Booking Service Providers

(BSPs) that are still in business

are operating with skeleton

staff, in an effort to reduce

costs to remain in business with

a large proportion of vehicles

parked or sold.

The CPV industry operates an

essential service for vulnerable

members of our communities.

Those transporting MPTP

participants give an added layer

of service and this standard

needs to be maintained now

the MPTP is available to nontaxi

service providers. Those

in authority naively gave

accreditation and support to

an inexperienced entity to

partake in the MPTP scheme.

Further on, the study conducted

to investigate this entity’s

suitability to transport these

passengers had a minuscule

sample size. You would be inane

to not have serious concerns for

the users of the MPTP scheme.

In our submission, the TAA

made five recommendations

that urgently need attention

and action, to ensure the needs

of MPTP users are being met

now and in the future, and their

safety is given priority.

1. Introduction of

mandatory training for all

drivers operating within

the MPTP scheme.

We know that training and

educating workers in any

industry has a positive impact

on performance. As you would

have seen in our submission,

Guide Dogs Australia managed

to halve the amount of

complaints by guide dog

handlers in NSW by introducing

monthly training of Taxi drivers.

October/November 2021


Other States have training

requirements and Queensland

has taken a positive step

forward and implemented

mandatory requirements, for all

personalised passenger transport

drivers to complete Disability

Awareness, Sexual Harassment

and Anti-Discrimination training.

With the rideshare industry being

plagued with sexual harassment

complaints, and reports of

drivers discriminating against

passengers with a disability, it is

paramount drivers are educated.

For the safety of all passengers,

especially MPTP passengers,

we recommend that the CPVV

takes a progressive leap and

introduces mandatory training

for all commercial passenger

vehicle drivers.

2. We also recommend

the Introduction of a

mandatory requirement

for approved cameras in

vehicles operating within

the MPTP scheme.

It is essential for taxis (unbooked

vehicles) within the CPV

industry to have an approved

and operational safety camera

installed within their vehicle.

The safety of our society’s

vulnerable, needs to be a


These cameras have been

proven to act as a deterrent of

unethical acts and crimes, and if,

unfortunately, an unlawful event

took place, accountability could

be served.

We believe that all CPVs eligible

to transport MPTP passengers

must be required to have safety

cameras installed.

3. We recommend the

Introduction of maximum

fare rate for all MPTP


Surge pricing for MPTP

passengers during peak periods,

would unfairly eat into the

annual limits of the MPTP user,

and this needs to be prevented.

Implementing a maximum fare

rate for all MPTP trips would

prevent surge pricing.

4. Our 4th

recommendation is

the Introduction of a

requirement for operators

accredited to offer the

MPTP rebate scheme

to have a minimum % of

their fleet as approved

wheelchair accessible


Many MPTP users ride in sedans

and not WAVs. Having a WAV on

the road is a costly exercise. A

typical taxi company operating

WAVs uses the income from the

other vehicles in their fleet to

subsidise the cost of the WAVs.

Allowing MPTP service

providers to operate without

WAVs is taking sedan work

from the participants who

have WAVs in their fleet.

Subsequently, it will cripple

the already struggling BSPs

with WAVs and reduce the

number of WAVs available

to MPTP users.

If a BSP would like to be a MPTP

service provider in the disability

sector, they should be required

to be a full participant and not

permitted to discriminate for

their own financial gain.

5. Lastly we recommended

the Introduction of

mandatory requirement

for MPTP service

providers to have

Comprehensive Insurance

and Public Liability


It is important to have both as

Public liability insurance kicks in

where comprehensive insurance


It is relied on in scenarios where

the driving journey has ceased

for example, if a passenger trips

and falls after disembarking

the vehicle or if a mobility aide

accidentally gets damaged while

being removed from the vehicle.






of the Economy and

Infrastructure Inquiry into the

MPTP webpage at

16 October/November 2021


High-poweing very low instances

of dumping and vandalism due

to the quality of both the bikes

and the operator, a council

spokesperson said.


October/November 2021


Australia must


the shift to



Emissions from road transport

account for 10 per cent of global

emissions – and that number is

rising faster than any other sector,

as highlighted in the latest Global

EV Outlook report.

Developed nations around the

world, including the United

Kingdom and Canada, have already

pledged to phase out sales or

registrations of new internal

combustion engine cars by a certain

date - but Australia has not.

Nowhere near the

finish line

Despite being one of the world’s

leaders in renewable energy

research and innovation, Australia’s

vehicle emission standard is still

based on the European Emission

Standard five, which is now over

a decade old. More than 80 per

cent of the global car market now

follows 'Euro Six' vehicle emission

standards, including Europe, the

United States, Japan, Korea, China,

India and Mexico.

Beyond the failure to reduce

regional air pollution, Australian

standards have also fallen behind

in mandating fuel efficiency and

hence lower greenhouse emissions.

Cleaner and more fuel-efficient

internal combustion engine cars

can assist in reducing both local

air pollution and greenhouse gas


So how can Australia commit to

zero-emission vehicle goals if it’s

behind on global vehicle emission


Associate Professor Iain

MacGill, Joint Director of UNSW

Collaboration on Energy and

Environmental Markets, says

Australia hasn’t made a serious

effort to address transport-related


“The transport sector is one of

the continuing growth areas of

Australia's emissions profile,” he


“However, we’ve seen so many

petrol-fuelled sports utility vehicles

and twin cab utes being purchased

that it seems likely that the average

fuel efficiency of Australian cars is

going backwards.”

Chicken and egg


The pathway to zero-emission

transport almost certainly requires

electric vehicles fuelled by zeroemission

electricity. Last year, less

than one per cent of new cars

bought in Australia were EVs. That

compares with more than four per

cent globally, almost six per cent

in China and nearly 75 per cent in


18 October/November 2021

Renewable energy expert,

Associate Professor Anna

Bruce from UNSW School of

Photovoltaics and Renewable

Energy Resources, says the

absence of clear government

policy is the biggest reason why

Australia is lagging in the transition

to EVs - making it difficult for

manufacturers to focus on serving

the Australian market.

“It’s like the chicken and egg

dilemma – but without proper

policy and regulation, then demand

for EVs will remain low.”

The same can be said about

the network of EV charging

infrastructure, says A/Prof. MacGill.

“Australia’s an interesting mix in

that we’re highly urbanised - so we

take the view that our car should

get us around town for 51 weeks of

the year. But for the other week,

we might want to drive all the way

to another state.

“In most cases, nearly all the

charging happens at home anyway

but it’s for those special occasions

where we need to drive long


“The charging network can

satisfy the number of current

EVs but if that number were to

double overnight, there will be


Electrify everything

UNSW PhD candidate Katelyn

Purnell, says “While private vehicles

make up a majority of transport

use, there is a huge opportunity

to electrify the entire transport

network including bicycles, buses,

taxis and rideshare and even

ferries,” she says.

“Cross modality transport is an

important factor in reducing

emissions because people are

moving around differently - so

policy discussions shouldn’t be

limited to just motor vehicles.”

The road ahead

If Australia wants to get serious

about reducing emissions from

transport, then it needs to start

with a cohesive and holistic

approach from both the State and

Federal government, adds Purnell.

“If we look at Norway, they

went with a portfolio method

when introducing policy. Beyond

initiatives such as reducing upfront

capital costs, subsidies, or access

to special lanes, they signalled to

the market that they were serious

about this and there was no going


October/November 2021


VIC News


in hands of


Australian women-only rideshare business Shebah is in

voluntary administration, after falling through the cracks

in government COVID-19 support and struggling to attract

backing from the venture capital sector or the government.

Sam Kaso and Rachel Burdett of Cor Cordis have been

appointed as administrators, and will try to save the

business through a sale or restructure.

Founded in 2017, Shebah raised a record $3 million in equity

crowdfunding two years later, with women making up 94%

of investors.

George McEncroe

Shebah Founder and CEO

Pre-pandemic, the startup was

providing up to 10,000 trips

each month. As well as being

used to take women to social

events, Shebah provided school

transport for children and

worked with domestic violence

support services to provide

safe transport for women and


It is licensed to carry

unaccompanied children, with

80% of cars fitted with car seats.

That means it can be used for

transporting foster children and

other vulnerable minors.

Founder and chief executive

Georgina McEncroe describes

running Shebah throughout the

COVID-19 crisis as “staring at a

roulette table”, wondering which

way the ball is going to go.

Revenues dropped by 70% as

workplaces and schools shut

down across the country, time

and time again.

While drivers could receive

JobKeeper and the Victorian

Business Assistance Grants,

Shebah itself wasn’t eligible for

government support as it was

able to continue trading.

McEncroe had also been trying

to attract more equity capital. In

fact, she came close to closing a

round before the latest COVID-19

lockdowns caused investors to

back out.

“We have been trying to attract

more equity for more than a

year, but potential investors had

no clear line of sight on when

things would return to normal.

We were hoping we could hang

on until the states were fully

open, but we ran out of time

20 October/November 2021


and had no option but to appoint

Voluntary Administrators.”

She also applied for the federal

government’s Boosting Female

Founders grant scheme without

success, and explored selling the

business herself.

“I was just watching the bank

balance the whole time,” she tells


“Gotta to do the right thing,” she

adds, “Gotta call it.”

McEncroe said Shebah has a pool

of over 1000 drivers, but less than

half were active during lockdowns.

The typical driver is aged 49,

single, with older children.

She said it would be another blow

to women at a time when they’ve

been hard hit if Shebah could not


“Women have suffered

disproportionately during Covid

and we have learned how much

many women rely on this service

to make them feel safe for

themselves and their children,”

she said. What’s next for Shebah?

McEncroe believes the best

outcome for Shebah, its drivers

and its customers will be a sale

and a continuation of the service.

She believes wholeheartedly

in the business; safe travel for

women and children is “such a

fundamental right”, she says.

“The world doesn’t belong to the


The service is used by many

vulnerable women, children and

youth, and that demand is not

likely to drop.

The company had been making up

to 10,000 trips a month nationally

before the pandemic hit, including

children to and from school – it’s

the only rideshare with a licence to

transport unaccompanied minors.

Shebah could be valued at up to

$15 million because of the valuable

exemptions to anti-discrimination

laws the startup holds, and its

database of women drivers

and licences which enable it to

transport unaccompanied minors.

“A number of interested parties

have cottoned on to, obviously,

the need for women who would

prefer to drive with another

woman” McEncroe said. “Lo

and behold this has become an

apparent market.”

Administrator Sam Kaso said

in a statement he is hopeful

the business will attract strong

interest from potential buyers.

“Shebah has some unique qualities

and upsides in a market that will

recover as lockdowns are lifted,”

he said.

The business will continue to

operate while the administrators

“stabilise” and assess operations

before seeking expressions of




WE’re open


547 Spencer Street

West Melbourne


October/November 2021




welcome back


After a long and grueling lockdown, Victoria has now reopened its doors and welcomed people back into

everyday life and our drivers back on the roads, transporting passengers to where they need to go.

Since its reopening, the Victorian government has announced that all commercial passenger vehicle drivers

must have a COVID-19 vaccine if they wish to continue providing CPV services. If a CPV driver has a driver

agreement in place with the vehicle owner, then it is the vehicle owner’s responsibility to keep a record of

those vaccinations. However, those registered as a Booking Service Provider (BSP) are expected to keep their

own records.

Why isn’t the CPVV keeping a register

of full vaccination statuses against

every driver’s accreditation details,

instead of choosing to rely on an

honesty system? It’s concerning

that the CPVV is not following the

government’s lead on requiring

proof of vaccinations, while patrons

entering pubs, or a shopping centre

are required by law to show they’re

double vaxed when scanning their

QR code. There will be no such

requirement for travelling CPV

passengers, posing a significant risk

on our drivers.

Rod Barton MLC

Leader, Transport Matters Party

I asked the Minister for Transport

about this and the substantive

response received stated: “The

commercial passenger vehicle

industry regulator, Commercial

Passenger Vehicles Victoria (CPVV),

has provided advice and guidance

to industry on the application of the

mandatory vaccination requirement

and will continue to support

22 October/November 2021


the industry to remain safe and open. The

mandatory vaccination requirement will be

enforced in accordance with the public health

direction.” This, however, does not answer my


The Legislative Council’s Economy and

Infrastructure inquiry in the Multi Purpose

Taxi Program (MPTP)scheme has been

examining safety standards of the MPTP and

the commercial impacts of extending the MPTP

to Uber.

Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria (CPVV)

readily acknowledges that of almost 90,000

registered commercial passenger vehicles, only

approximately 35,000 are active.

Given the increase in the Wheelchair Accessible

Vehicles (WAVs) was only about 300, to begin

with, it is not an unreasonable assumption that

there could easily be 500 WAVs included in the

dormant 55,000 CPVs, which are inoperative.

A new vehicle fitted-out for carrying a

wheelchair can cost up to $100,000; where

operators make only marginal profit at the

best of times from offering these vehicles to

Victoria’s wheelchair community.

The committee is looking at vehicle safety

requirements, maximum fare rate, prevention

of rorting and exploitation of vulnerable users,

the financial impacts on all affected by the

expansion of the MPTP scheme.

“Only 35,000

CPVs are

currently active

and on the road.

One taxi operator has informed me that they

have only been able to continue to offer MPTP

services for so long because they have been

able to cross-subsidise with their usual sedan

work. This taxi operator has had to reduce

their fleet and divert their resources to protect

the profitable sedan work. The committee is

also looking at the possibility of limited WAVs

available, especially in regional communities.

I have requested the Minister for Transport to

provide accurate data on the number of WAVs

that are currently active in the industry.

The committee is collecting, collating,

analysing and assessing all information

presented, both in writing and verbally, with

regards to the MPTP scheme, in order to make

careful and constructive recommendations to

government on how the MPTP scheme should

be operating in the future.

The inquiry is to handover its report and

recommendations on this matter by 18

February 2022.

October/November 2021


24 October/November 2021


30 December 1929 – 27 September 2021

Isobel was a kind and gentle soul who lost her sixmonth

battle with heart and lung failure on 27th

September 2021. We lost a very special lady that day.

A kind and loving lady with an astute business sense.

Isobel was born in Young, NSW and worked at

her parents’ market garden store while attending

secondary school. Stan was 15 years old when he

entered the life of Isobel (then 20 years old) when

she needed a helping hand in selling and delivering

the fruit and veggies. Stan also frequented the family

General store where, as an SP bookie, Isobel would

take his bets.

Isobel followed Stan when he went to Melbourne

to start his career as a Bookie in 1960, and in 1961

they were married. This year they celebrated their

Diamond Anniversary of 60 years of marriage.

Isobel’s home was indeed her castle, her door was

always open, and she welcomed everybody with open

arms. She kept up to date on the latest current affairs,

completed the sudoku and crosswords daily.

Isobel and Stan started “Taxi Talk” (now called

“Drive Now”) magazine back in 1966. Isobel was the

best proofreader we ever had until last year when

it became too tiring for her to continue. She was

a proud advocator for the Victorian taxi industry,

attending many Victorian Taxi Association functions

and conferences, supporting those within the industry

who sought her help, and making her opinions heard

through the magazine.

She was a devoted Collingwood Football Fan and

knew all the players’ names, numbers and what they

had been up to. She even had a flagpole erected in

the backyard so that the mighty magpies’ flag could

fly high.

Any time spent with her grandchildren, Amy, Stuart,

Eric and Spencer, was cherished time for her. She

adored them, they adored her, and she was so very

proud of them all.

Isobel will be greatly missed, but we have wonderful

memories of time spent together, and we will cherish

them always. Loving wife to Stan, mother of Toni

and Donna, mother-in-law to Marc, Grammy to Amy,

Stuart, Eric, Spencer and Lillie, and a friend to many.

She was my Mum, and I miss her every day. Farewell

Isobel – I will certainly not forget to miss you.

Toni Peters

Editor, Drive Now magazine

October/November 2021



South Aus.

#of Registered

Point-to-Point VEHICLES

as at 31 October 2021

SA - Vehicles












SPVs -




Taxis Rideshare

01-Sep-20 175 384 1299 4,211

01-Jan-21 194 386 1382 4,564

21-Oct-21 200 373 1365 4,594


nt vehicles

# CP VEHICLES as at 30 September 2021














Private Hire



01-Jul-21 187 48 14 681

30-Sep-21 193 49 14 702

nt drivers

# CPV DRIVERS as at 30 September 2021










Rideshare Taxi Private hire car

01-Jul-21 1,285 1,340 471

30-Sep-21 1290 1281 442

# of Registered

Point-to-Point DRIVERS

as at 30 September2021









# of Registered Transport Services


as at 31 August 2021

Tas vehicles










SA - Drivers


Rideshare, Country Taxi &


01-Jan-21 4626 5317

01-Jul-21 4343 5234

30-Sep-21 4252 5235

Taxis & Luxury Hire Cars Ride-sourcing

31-Dec-20 554 1,496

30-Jun-21 543 1,335

31-Aug-21 540 1,459

31-Dec-20 30-Jun-21 31-Aug-21

26 October/November 2021

New South Wales

# of Metro & Non-Metro


as at 31 October



Taxi Licences








Taxi Licences Metro

Taxi Licences Non-Metro

Jan-18 5399 913

Jan-19 5576 1210

Jan-20 5587 1425

Jan-21 4492 1432

Jul-21 4673 1456

Oct-21 5229 1455


# of Registered Personalised

Transport LICENCES

as at 30 September 2021











QLD Vehicles

Limousine Taxi Service Booked Hire Service

30-Sep-20 495 3,252 16,136

30-Jun-21 491 3,250 16,215

30-Sep-21 485 3,249 15,549









# of Total Taxi Licences & On Hold TREND

as at 31 October 2021




nsw licences on hold

Jan-18 Jan-19 Jan-20 Jan-21 Jul-21 Oct-21

6,312 6,786 7,012 5,924 6,129 6,694

Taxi Plates on hold 379 558 650 2,113 1,940 2,007


# of Registered Commercial

Passenger VEHICLES

as at 30 September 2021

Vic Vehicles















88,701 88,835 90,663

Dec-17 Jan-19 Jan-20 Dec-20 Jun-21 30-Sep-21

# of Passenger Transport (PT)

DRIVER LICENCES as at 31 October 2021

NSW Driver Licences


127,797 130,752 131,149











Jan 18 Jan 19 Jan 20 Jan 21 Jul 21 oct 21

# of Registered CPV DRIVERS

as at 30 September 2021











Vic Drivers


113,659 115,363 117,633

01-Dec-17 01-Dec-18 01-Jan-20 31-Dec-20 30-Jun-21 30-Sep-21

October/November 2021



QLD News





The Department of Transport

and Main Roads (DTMR) aims

to support customers and

personalised transport industry

participants in resolving disputes

in the most effective way.

The Department of Justice and

Attorney-General is offering

an industry-specific mediation

service for disputes arising in the

taxi, limousine and ride-booking


The service has been

established as part of their

Dispute Resolution Branch,

which specialises in providing

alternative dispute resolution

options to the public.

All mediators are trained to help

people resolve disputes and

reach a mutually agreed solution.

Mediation can help you settle

disputes quickly and at a lower

cost than other approaches, such

as going to court.

It is an option available when you

are unable to resolve your issue

directly with the other party. It

involves a structured meeting

to identify, understand, and

negotiate your dispute.

The mediation services:

• are provided at no cost to


• are confidential

• are facilitated by accredited


• may help you and the other

party preserve your business


• may save you time and

money compared to


To find out more about these

services offered, visit the

Department of Transport and

Main Roads website at https://

28 October/November 2021



Be safe;

Be professional;

There is no excuse for


Everyone involved with Queensland's personalised

transport system – passengers, drivers and rank staff

– is entitled to either a journey or a job free of verbal

and physical abuse and intimidation.

TMR expects that passengers, drivers and rank staff

will behave respectfully to one another. This will

further contribute to our state's reputation of having

a first-class, professional, personalised transport

industry that is safe, sustainable and accessible.

There are likely to be individual consequences for

abusive behaviour, and it will also affect other

industries, such as tourism and hospitality, if

Queensland's reputation as a safe, fun, familyfriendly

destination is put at risk by careless words or


Instances of

illegal behaviour

such as assault

or physical

abuse should

be reported to

the Queensland

Police Service

without delay.

For taxis, this

will ensure that

relevant security

camera recordings of incidents may be retrieved

expeditiously and possibly used as evidence. For

other booked hire services, it will mean that

information can be provided to the Police while

memories are still fresh.

In the case of verbal abuse and intimidation – which

includes being threatened, sworn at or racially

abused - passengers and drivers are encouraged by

TMR to notify the relevant booking entity as soon as

possible after the incident.

Passengers abusing drivers and rank staff face

potential police action. Drivers who abuse

passengers or rank staff may face disaffiliation,

suspension or


of their Driver


and possibly even

criminal charges.

Rank staff who

abuse drivers

or passengers

face potential

dismissal and

potential charges

laid by the Police.

October/November 2021





by Adrian Edlington

There are almost as many cars

as there are people in Australia.

According to the Australian

Bureau of Statistics, there are

20.1 million registered motor

vehicles – that’s almost one

per person of driving age. Over

2020, the national fleet grew by

1.7%. It would seem our appetite

for new cars remains steady,

despite lockdowns, the COVID-19

pandemic, and other economic


2020 saw one of the biggest

slumps in new car sales since the

Global Financial Crisis of 2007-

2008. International new car sales

slowed from 91.3 million in 2019

to 63.7 million in 2020, according

to Statista. Over 2019-2022

(predicted) this represents a 13.8%


Add this to a global

semiconductor shortage, which

has affected the supply of almost

everything reliant on electronics:

smartphones, games consoles,

and of course, modern vehicles.

However, Australia is a big outlier.

Sales of vehicles are up 33%

compared to the same time

last year (81,999 vs 60,986),

according to the Federal Chamber

of Automotive Industries. This

means passenger vehicles, light

commercial, heavy commercial,

and SUVs are all trending upward.

This is despite some parts of

Australia being physically unable

to purchase cars at dealerships

due to prolonged lockdowns.

30 October/November 2021

So, what does that mean for the


Where are new car sales headed

in Australia? What are people

buying? What are the top-selling

brands? Are people going electric

or hybrid in the wake of rising

petrol prices? What do dealers

think? Let’s take a dive:

New Car Sales In

Australia – Bucking The


According to the FCAI, the

Passenger Vehicle Market is

up by 2,581 sales (17.5%) over

the same month last year; the

Sports Utility Market is up by

8,603 sales (26.6%); the Light

Commercial Market is up by

8,002 sales (71.2%), and the Heavy

Commercial Vehicle Market is

up by 1,027 sales (39.3%) versus

August 2020.

Total automotive sales in the

United States plummeted by

15.83% in 2020, according to data

from the US Bureau of Economic

Analysis through the site Good

Car Bad Car. Compared to August

2020, car sales have decreased

by 47.7% (1,298,489 vs 619,806)

which appears to have “fallen off

a cliff” compared with Australian


This is despite 6.6% Q2 2021

GDP growth in the US – not an

all-encompassing indicator, but

one that is a far cry from a great


SUV – The New Family


SUVs have been the consistent

performer Australia wide,

outselling passenger vehicles by

4:1 in most months throughout

2021. SUV sales are up by

26.6% as mentioned before –

in August, 40,981 new SUVs

were sold, compared to 17,339

passenger vehicles and 19,236

light commercial vehicles. This

correlates with 2020’s results

that showed SUVs sales comprise

almost half of all new car sales

(49.6%) with passenger car sales

only taking a quarter (24.22%).

The popularity of “Medium SUVs”

that have a smaller profile, yet

spacious interior may explain

this trend; but the fact is that

Australians are abandoning the

“traditional” passenger segment

for the SUV.

In the passenger car market, small

(over $40,000) and light (under

$25,000) cars were the highest

sellers (13.3% combined.) Medium

cars sold a combined total 2.9%,

while the next largest segment

was under $40,000 small cars at

1.2%. The entry-level sports market

(under $200,000) accounted

for 1% of sales, while large cars

comprised 0.6%.

The Popular Marques

Remain, Well, Popular

The top car brand is Toyota,

which sold 21,076 vehicles in June

2021. According to the ABS, there

were three million registrations

of Toyota branded vehicles in

Australia last year.

October/November 2021


Mazda came in at 2nd with 12,225

sales in June, up 29.8% year-onyear.

Ford came in third with

8,456 sales. Other major shifts

occurred in Mitsubishi, down

24% y-o-y, MG which shot up by

219.9%, and Isuzu, the truck and

commercial manufacturer, up


As for year to date, Toyota

remains the clear leader, selling

118,953 cars. This is followed

by Mazda (60,466), Hyundai

(38,634), and Kia (37,894.) Only

three western marques are in

the top 10 (Ford, Volkswagen,

and MG) with Izuzu’s Ute division

settling in at 11th (18,805).

Unsurprisingly, the runaway

success in the medium car market

in June 2021 was the ever-reliable

Toyota Camry (1,026 sales).

In the small segment, the Kia

Cerato sold 2,711 units, followed

by the Hyundai i30 (2,331), and

Toyota Corolla (2,175.) Among

medium SUVs, the Mazda CX-5

was the strong performer (3,018),

followed by the Toyota RAV4

(2,501), and Hyundai Tuscon


The top three selling models for

the 2021 year to date is the Toyota

Hilux (28,076), the Ford Ranger

(25,336) and the Toyota RAV4


What Dealers Say – An


Anecdotally, according to

dealers, the numbers of car loan

applications have been strong,

though the wait time on vehicles

such as ex-fleet cars has blown

out to months. The same goes for

new cars. Some buyers are paying

a deposit and having to wait for 3

to 7 months.

This may also show in the

statistics: according to the ABS,

the average age of a roadworthy,

registered vehicle is 10.6 years,

an increase over last year. The

youngest fleet is found in the

ACT (9.5 years) and the oldest in

Tasmania (13.3 years.)

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According to automotive expert

and founder at Carloop Riz

Akhtar, Australians are still keen

to buy cars despite up to twelvemonth


“COVID is still playing a big role

in the U.S. compared to what’s

happening out here,” he says.

“Apart from the recent lockdown

in New South Wales and Victoria,

the rest of the country is still

doing pretty well. Manufacturers

were not anticipating this sort of

a surge in demand. That’s on the

back of various factors, such as

the stimulus packages that have

been handed out to job seekers.”

“Dealers don’t have any trouble

selling cars. There are just too

many people that want them at

the moment.”

Why the surge in SUV


Riz from Carloop puts it simply:

“It’s all about the marketing

manufacturers have put behind

it. SUVs are cheaper to produce.

They’re basically building a box

and embedding whatever they

want in it. The margins are way

better than sedans or other

types of larger vehicles.

“From a marketing point of view,

people have gotten the message

that they are the cars that they

want, and they’ve turned these

SUVs into more of an aspirational

purchase, as well as a lifestyle

purchase. And that’s caused

quite a huge shift from sedans

over to SUVs now, which I don’t

think will turn back anytime


32 October/November 2021

Transport Matters Party (TMP) is a political

movement focusing on fairness, community and

offering solutions for our nation’s transport issues.

Show your support to Rod Barton MP

by becoming a TMP member today! Only $22!

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public transport and a viable commercial passenger

vehicle industry in Victoria.






The first for 13 years and the Essential Services Commission will no longer hold

responsibility for setting the fares for rank and hail taxi services. Taxi fares will now

be set by the Fair Work Commission each year around the Consumer Price Index.


Thereby allowing drivers in the taxi and hire car industry to be included in the

Victorian Business Support Package. There was an initial $5,000 grant, then

$2,000, and recently $2,800.


Advising the government on key issues relating to the ongoing sustainability of the

Victorian Commercial Passenger Vehicle industry.

Be part of a movement that matters....

October/November 2021


Exclusive lanes for

autonomous vehicles

is driving future road modelling

While we may have to wait a little

longer for fully automated flying

cars, the future of automated

vehicles is not far away.

High-end models of existing

vehicles in the market, such as

Tesla, already have adaptive cruise

control features. This means the

vehicles have autopilot hardware

to drive by themselves without any

input from the driver and are fitted

sensors to detect when objects are

too close.

The next stage of automation

will be for the vehicles to

communicate and interact with

each other. But what will that

mean for the cars that are not


Published in the Journal of

Transportation Research Part C:

Emerging Technologies, a study by

engineers from UNSW proposes

a freeway network design with

exclusive lanes for autonomous


Using computer modelling of

mixed scenarios, they found

dedicated lanes significantly

improved the overall safety and

traffic flow in a hybrid network of

pedestrians, cyclists, automated

vehicles and legacy vehicles.

Lead author Dr Shantanu

Chakraborty from UNSW School

of Civil and Environmental

Engineering, says that if the

road and transport network is

not prepared for these vehicles

34 October/November 2021

when they enter the market, it

will significantly hinder the travel

experience of all road users.

“Traffic congestion costs the

economy billions of dollars every

year in all the extra time spent

commuting. The proposed model

will help minimise interaction with

legacy vehicles and reduce overall

congestion on the road,” says Dr


“The mix of autonomous vehicles

and legacy vehicles will cause

issues on the road network unless

there is proper modelling during

this transition phase. If we get

caught out, and we’re not ready,

we won’t reap the full benefits

of the technology behind these

autonomous vehicles.”

“If you look at our existing

network, we already have

something similar with dedicated

bus lanes – so we’re not

reinventing the wheel here.

“Freeways are also the best

network of car lanes to trial as

they have dedicated entry and

exit points where drivers can

automatically switch on and off

their automated features.”

Improving traffic flow

and road safety

Autonomous vehicles not only

have the potential to provide

cost-effective mobility options, but

road users can reap the benefits of

reduced congestion.

Dr Chakraborty says road users

can activate the autopilot features

of their vehicles while they are

in these exclusive lanes. The

automation of movement of the

vehicles means the flow of traffic

would significantly improve in

these lanes as drivers are not

solely relying on their attention

and reaction time to traffic


“Say you’re sitting in traffic and

the traffic light turns green, the

driver doesn’t instantaneously

take off that second; there is

usually a response time before

you press on the pedal and the car

moves,” he says.

“Then the driver behind you reacts

and so forth and by this stage,

there has been some time passed.

“However, with autonomous

vehicles, the movement is more

coordinated because the vehicles

are fitted with sensors. When the

signal turns green, all the vehicles

move simultaneously, which will

improve traffic flow and reduce


“I believe, this is the future of


Stay in your lane

Dr Chakraborty says variable

signboards could be used to

change the lane designation based

on the traffic condition at the

time. This will mean during peak

hours, roads can be used more

efficiently depending on the traffic

conditions at the time.

But how do we ensure drivers of

legacy vehicles don’t misuse the

new lane system?

“Similar to existing high-occupancy

lanes, for example, transit lanes

or T2 or T3 lanes, we can apply

a fine when drivers of legacy

vehicles enter lanes dedicated for

autonomous vehicles," he says.

“Like any other road rules, we can

only trust that drivers obey the

signs and road rules.”

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October/November 2021





by Megan Whelan, Sales ANZ at Taxi Butler and Driver Bubble

Without question, the pandemic

has left an indelible mark on our

lives. Businesses such as tourism,

hospitality, entertainment, and

the aviation industry may take a

few years to recover. One of the

industries that have equally faced

an adverse impact in its business

operation is the taxi industry in


Strict lockdowns and reduced

travel has led the taxi industry

to suffer significant losses in


Constraints on public

transportation, border barriers,

work-from-home policies,

and travel prohibitions have

greatly affected the taxi sector,

with workers experiencing

unemployment and financial


Many businesses have shut, while

just a handful have found ways to

diversify and bounce back.

According to a report by Taxi

Butler, the Australian and New

Zealand taxi market in May

saw a 22.3% increase in B2B taxi

bookings since the beginning of

this year.

36 October/November 2021



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By the end of 2021, the global taxi

booking market could experience

steady growth across the globe,

and taxi demand in Australia is

expected to gain momentum.

The largest market for taxi

services in Australia is New South

Wales and coming in second is

Victoria. The taxi bookings in 2020

witnessed a significant fall of

nearly 80% as compared to 2019.

Meetings, engagements, and

airport departures and arrivals

are vital sources of revenue for

the taxi business in Australia.

Their decline has had a significant

influence on the industry in recent


A few local industries are on the

edge of bankruptcy, where some

drivers cannot earn enough to

pay their monthly bills. There are

concerns that a business collapse

may leave the ageing population

and people with disabilities

unable to visit places.

Keeping Safe

While PPE equipment like face

coverings in indoor public areas

are mandatory, some taxi firms

are looking at installing unique

vehicle partition screens to

protect the safety of drivers and

customers. The screens give an

extra layer of protection with

up to 95% surface coverage and

avoids direct contact between

the drivers and passengers. The

vehicle partition screens allow the

passengers to remain connected

without being isolated.

With the increased concern

around health and safety, drivers

across the taxi and ride-share

industry are still hesitant to drive

passengers, highly impacting the

efficiency of the services. Here

are some guidelines for drivers

to help prevent the spread of the


• A face mask is highly

recommended (and in

some States mandatory)

for both the driver and the

passenger. Unless the person

has a medical reason for not

wearing a face mask, the

face mask should adequately

cover the mouth and nose.

• Taxi and ride-share drivers

are encouraged to be led by

their safety when performing

their responsibilities and

adopt appropriate sanitary

standards while on the job.

• It is crucial for drivers to

constantly sanitise their

vehicles, including door

handles and all surfaces in

contact with the previous

passenger, as potential

contamination may increase

the risk of COVID-19.

• Drivers should also switch

the air conditioning to

external ventilation rather

than recirculation and

provide passengers with a

hand sanitiser.

38 October/November 2021





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Uber and Lyft



Piece by piece, the mythology around

ride-sharing is falling apart.

Uber and Lyft promised ubiquitous

self-driving cars as soon as this

year. They promised an end to

private car ownership. They

promised to reduce congestion in

the largest cities. They promised

consistently affordable rides. They

promised to boost public transit

use. They promised profitable

business models. They promised a

surfeit of well-paying jobs.

Well, none of that has gone

as promised (but more about

that later). Now a new study is

punching a hole in another of

Uber and Lyft’s promised benefits:

curtailing pollution. The companies

have long insisted their services

are a boon to the environment

because they reduce the need for

short trips, can pool riders heading

in roughly the same direction

and cut unnecessary miles by, for

instance, eliminating the need to

look for street parking.

It turns out that Uber rides

do spare the air from the high

amount of pollutants emitted

from starting up a cold vehicle,

when it is operating less

efficiently, researchers from

Carnegie Mellon University

found. But that gain is wiped out

by the need for drivers to circle

around waiting for or fetching

their next passenger, known as

deadheading. Deadheading, Lyft

and Uber estimated in 2019, is

equal to about 40% of ride-share

miles driven in six US cities. The

researchers at Carnegie Mellon

estimated that driving without

a passenger leads to a roughly

40 October/November 2021

20% overall increase in fuel

consumption and greenhouse gas

emissions compared to trips made

by personal vehicles.

The researchers also found that

switching from a private car to ondemand

rides, like an Uber or Lyft,

increased the external costs of a

typical trip by 30-35%, or roughly 35

cents on average, because of the

added congestion, collisions and

noise from ride-sharing services.

“This burden is not carried by the

individual user, but rather impacts

the surrounding community,”

reads a summary of the research

conducted by Jacob Ward,

Jeremy Michalek and Constantine

Samaras. “Society as a whole

currently shoulders these external

costs in the form of increased

mortality risks, damage to vehicles

and infrastructure, climate impacts

and increased traffic congestion.”

But as Lyft would have it,

“By using Lyft to share rides,

passengers are helping to reduce

the carbon footprint left by our

country’s dominant mode of

transportation — driving alone.”

That’s what the friendly Uber

alternative claimed way back in


So what about all those other

pledges? They’ve proved to be just

as illusory.

Take urban congestion. Uber

and Lyft envisioned a future in

which software algorithms would

push each car to host three or

more passengers, easing traffic

and providing a complement to

public transit options. Instead,

passengers have largely eschewed

pooled rides and public transit in

favour of private trips, leading to

downtown bottlenecks in cities

like San Francisco. The duration of

traffic jams increased by nearly 5%

in urban areas since Uber and Lyft

moved in.

Lyft’s president, John Zimmer,

once claimed the majority of rides

would be in autonomous vehicles

by 2021, but the company has

largely backed away from its selfdriving

efforts, including selling its

developmental unit to a Toyota

subsidiary this year. Uber, which

once characterized robot cars as

“existential” to its future, sold off

its autonomous vehicle division

last year after mounting safety and

cost concerns.

The efficiencies of ride-hailing

were supposed to all but end car

ownership; instead, vehicle sales

are on the rise again this year,

after a down year in 2020. There is

also evidence that Uber and Lyft

may actually spur an increase in

car sales in cities where they begin


Public-transit use in some areas,

despite the companies’ claims, has

been waning, according to several

studies, as more consumers opt

to jump in Ubers and Lyfts that

drive them door to door. That was

before the pandemic spooked

users into staying away from

crowded subway cars and buses.

Underwritten by venture capital,

Uber and Lyft hooked users by

offering artificially cheap rides that

often undercut traditional yellow

cabs. But labour shortages and a

desperate need to find some path

to a profitable future have caused

ride-share prices to skyrocket,

perhaps to a more rational level.

After burning through billions of

venture capital dollars, Uber said it

was on a path to profitability last

year, using an accounting metric

that ignores many of the costs that

actually make it unprofitable. By

the same measure, Chief Executive

Officer Dara Khosrowshahi is

projecting this quarter could be

profitable. That remains to be

seen. Sure, the pandemic had an

outsize impact on ride-sharing,

but even though food delivery

helped prop up Uber’s results, the

company still lost a staggering

$6.8 billion last year, following $8.5

billion in 2019 losses, in supposedly

better times. Lyft hasn’t fared

much better, racking up $4.4

billion in combined losses over the

same period.

Despite the hype for the

companies’ market debuts, some

Lyft investors are underwater

more than two years later, while

Uber stockholders have eked out

meagre gains. Hardly winning

business models.

The companies are correct

that they offer a useful service,

including food delivery to the

homebound, an alternative to

drunken driving and access to

transportation in underserved

areas. But after years of bluster,

it’s hard to believe them about

much else.

SOURCE: The New York Times

October/November 2021






by Antonella Kearns

Don’t be caught out parking near a kerb with a continual yellow line

next time you’re out on the road, or it will cost you. The continuous

yellow line is synonymous with the no stopping sign, meaning cars are

prohibited from stopping or parking in that area. The yellow lines may

be used in conjunction with a no stopping sign or used instead of one,

so don’t be fooled if there is no sign!

42 October/November 2021

The not-so-well-known rule

has been around since the late

1990s and was implemented by

governing authorities to reduce

the number of no stopping signs

cluttering the streets.

Queensland government

Department of Transport and Main

Roads listed this offence as one of

the most common parking fines in

2014, further highlighting the lack

of awareness among drivers.

To make things a little more

complicated, there are two types

of yellow lines to look out for:

A broken yellow

line signifies a


This means that cars are not

permitted to stop or park in that

area between the hours shown

on the sign (except in a medical

emergency); however, buses,

taxis, and hire cars (but not rideshare)

are permitted to stop, to

pick-up or drop-off passengers.

An Unbroken or


yellow line means


Drivers caught disobeying these

rules can be up for some hefty

penalties, including loss of demerit

points. Here’s a breakdown of

what these penalties look like

across Australia:


Prepare to lose one penalty unit

(equivalent to $50) if you decide to

stop on the forbidden yellow line.


If you’re caught parked on a single

continuous yellow line, you’ll

receive an on-the-spot fine of $109.


Parking on a continuous yellow

line will see Tasmanian drivers

issued with a $130 fine.


Authorities will decide whether

you lose one demerit point or

cough up a $157 fine for illegally

stopping on a continual yellow



South Australians are looking at

a fine of $198 if they are caught

stopped in that area.


Expect to receive a hefty $272 fine

from local authorities if caught

parked on a continual yellow line.


Drivers will be issued a penalty

of two demerit points which is

equivalent to a $275 fine.


Issuing the harshest penalty of

all the states, ACT drivers will be

penalised with a $280 fine for

parking in areas with a single

yellow line.

The moral of the

story here is:-

Don’t park on the

yellow line, and you’ll

be fine – not fined!

October/November 2021




It’s a bird, it’s a plane!


While the idea of hovering motor

vehicles might once have been

considered farfetched, it’s certainly

not the case today.

Companies around the world are

reaching new heights to develop

flying cars that could one day be

flown by commuters to work or

even over longer distances for

leisure travel.

UNSW aerospace design expert,

Dr Sonya Brown from the School

of Mechanical and Manufacturing

Engineering, says the aim of these

vehicles is to eventually provide

another means of urban air mobility

to help reduce congestion on the


“Long-term, flying cars will offer

us another means for short and

personalised travel,” she says.

“We’re starting to see an

emergence of flying car variants

in development around the world,

and even here in Australia, as more

companies are investing in these


“Some early adopters of these

technology include rideshare

companies and emergency services,

given some vehicles are being

designed to be more versatile than

traditional aircraft and helicopters.”

What exactly are they?

Flying cars resemble a cross

between a drone and a small

aircraft, so most will have wings

and typically include between four

to eight rotors.

They can fly a few hundred to a

few thousand metres above the

ground, occupying the air space

44 September 2021

above where you’d expect to see

drones flying but below standard

flying commercial aircrafts.

While it probably won’t get

someone from Sydney to

Melbourne on one battery charge,

flying cars could potentially travel

up to 250 kilometres in one ride.

“The underlying technology that’s

so important with flying cars is the

ability to both take-off and land

vertically and fly horizontally as

well. This makes the mechanics

much more complex than a

helicopter which primarily has

vertical propulsion,” says Dr


“And that's why we're calling

them flying cars because they

resemble the type of travel we

would do with cars.”

A win for the


Prototypes of flying cars are

currently being designed with

electrically powered rotors

meaning they can be battery

operated. As long as the batteries

are recharged in a sustainable

manner, for example, using wind

or solar energy, the flying cars

won’t emit any harmful emissions

into the environment.

“Ideally, the aim is to design these

green vehicles so that they reduce

emissions whilst reducing traffic

congestion on the ground as well,”

says Dr Brown.

“With growing research in the

renewable energy sector, I think

there’s huge potential to consider

other alternative energy sources,

such as hydrogen, to power the

flying cars in the future.”

Keeping the hand brake

up for now

Slow down - flying cars won’t take

off just yet; there’s a few bumps to

get over first.

Some of the challenges the

industry is looking to solve are

around regulation and traffic

control. Similar to commercial

flights, flying cars will need traffic

control rules, corridors and flight

paths to establish right of way to

avoid any potential collisions.

“There's a lot of work going into

developing collision avoidance

systems, particularly focusing on

how these vehicles are going to

communicate with each other to

make real-time decisions on things

such as right of way,” says Dr


“It will be up to regulators and

managing government bodies

around the world to work out

what licensing category it fits into

– because currently there isn’t


Flying cars also bring technical

challenges such as battery life,

particularly how many times it can

be recharged before the battery

duration starts to decline. Also,

many of these vehicles can have

up to eight rotors – which can be

very noisy.

“More acoustic studies need to

be done to try to minimise the

noise of the propeller inside these

rotors,” says Dr Brown.

“In the future, if there are going

to be hundreds or even thousands

of these occupying the skies

above highly populated areas,

it’s important that we consider

the impact the noise will have for

people in their homes below.”

October/November 2021



overseas news

Uber drivers are employees, not

contractors, says Dutch court


AMSTERDAM, Uber drivers are

employees, not contractors, and

so entitled to greater workers’

rights under local labour laws, a

Dutch court ruled in September

2021, handing a setback to the U.S.

company’s European business


It was another court victory for

unions fighting for better pay and

benefits for those employed in the

gig economy and followed a similar

decision this year about Uber in


The Amsterdam District Court sided

with the Federation of Dutch Trade

Unions (FNV), which had argued

that Uber’s roughly 4,000 drivers in

the capital are employees of a taxi

company and should be granted

benefits in line with the taxi sector.

Uber said it would appeal against

the decision and “has no plans to

employ drivers in the Netherlands”.

“We are disappointed with this

decision because we know that the

overwhelming majority of drivers

wish to remain independent,” said

Maurits Schönfeld, Uber’s general

manager for northern Europe.

“Drivers don’t want to give up their

freedom to choose if, when and

where to work.”

The court found drivers who

transport passengers via the

Uber app are covered by the

collective labour agreement for taxi


“The legal relationship between

Uber and these drivers meets

all the characteristics of an

employment contract,” the ruling


The FNV hailed the ruling.

“Due to the judge’s ruling, the

Uber drivers are now automatically

employed by Uber,” said Zakaria

Boufangacha, FNV’s deputy

chairman. “As a result, they will

receive more wages and more

rights in the event of dismissal or

illness, for example.”

Uber drivers are in some cases

entitled to back pay, the court said.

The judges also ordered Uber

to pay a fine of 50,000 euros

($58,940) for failing to implement

the terms of the labour agreement

for taxi drivers.


March - Uber said it would

improve workers’ rights, including

the minimum wage, for all of its

more than 70,000 British drivers

after it lost a Supreme Court case in


46 October/November 2021

Uber recorded $600 million in

first-quarter charges to account for

the UK benefits, highlighting the

financial toll of wider changes to

its contractor model. read more

Unlike in other European

countries and the United States,

UK employment law offers a

unique “worker” status - a legal

definition that situates drivers

between independent contractors

with no benefits and full-fledged

employees with extensive


Uber has advocated for a similar inbetween

status in other countries,

but said those initiatives would

require changes to employment


February - Uber released a

white paper that called on EU

regulators to recognise the value

of independent contracts in job

creation as they consider new rules

to protect gig economy workers.

“We believe a new approach

is possible - one where having

access to protections and benefits

doesn’t come at the cost of

flexibility and of job creation,”

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said

in a blog post at the time.

The company is pushing for similar

models in the United States and

Canada, where it faces dozens

of lawsuits over the status of its


May - Uber faced a legal

setback when the U.S. Supreme

Court rejected its bid to avoid a

lawsuit over whether drivers are

employees and not independent



Ride-hailing coverage issues

and high prices pushing

passengers back into black




are going back to black using

London’s iconic taxis as ride-hailing

coverage issues and increased surge

pricing pushes demand for black


At the height of the pandemic many

taxi drivers were forced to turn to

different jobs and employment to

tide themselves over as work levels

dipped to record lows. Fast forward

to September onwards and demand

has now returned, spiking to record


According to London’s biggest taxi

fleet rental, Colts Cabs, the firm

reported card payment transactions

hitting its highest figure since the

COVID pandemic forced restrictions

in March 2020. More than 40,000

transactions were recorded

on Thursday 9 September. In

comparison, a daily number of card

transactions in June 2020 fell below

3,000 payments.

Black cab app, Gett, has reported

a 40% increase in rides each day

compared to the first quarter of


The increase in demand has been

caused by many factors since

people returned back to work


space offices and are again enjoying

leisure activities banned throughout

large parts of the pandemic.

A national shortage of private hire

drivers has seen the unmet demand

pushed towards the licensed taxi

sector. The minicab driver shortages

have also pushed prices higher than

regulated taxi fares.

Since Spring time, ride-hailing firm

Uber having been looking to recruit

an additional 20,000 private hire

drivers. Operator Addison Lee has

also committed to finding an extra

1,000 drivers in the capital.

This month TaxiPoint reported the

number of registered minicabs

entering London’s Congestion

Charge zone in mid-August 2021

was 43% lower than that recorded in

April 2018.

In April 2018 the daily average

number of PHVs entering central

London stood at 17,271, however

post-pandemic that number has

dropped to just 10,121.

Driver shortages in the sector are

thought to be due to drivers leaving

the industry during the pandemic to

pursue different careers in similar

paid logistic and delivery jobs.

October/November 2021


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Nelson Bay Taxis are looking to hire additional

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Drivers are required to assist in the transport of

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You must have held a full NSW driver licence for at least

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Looking for drivers full time, day and night shift,

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SA News




A new digital experience for the

South Australian Transport Subsidy

Scheme (SATSS) taxi travel has

been introduced. This includes an

app for drivers, called the ‘SATSS

app’, and a new barcoded ID card

for SATSS members.

All active metropolitan SATSS

members have been provided with

their new SATSS barcoded card.

Since 2 August 2021, SATSS

members who have received

their new SATSS card are no

longer using paper vouchers for

subsidised travel in metropolitan


While barcoded ID cards have

been issued to active SATSS

members, drivers may still be

presented with a paper-based

vouchers from those who still

have the old ID card. All paperbased

vouchers must be accepted

while SATSS members transition

to the new card scanning system.

Drivers will be notified when this

transition period has ended and

paper vouchers will no longer be


More than 13,300 SATSS journeys

are now recorded digitally each

week as opposed to members

using the manual paper voucher.

Over 11,000 SATSS members are

now actively using their new card,

and 1,900 taxi drivers have logged

into the SATSS app.

A driver cannot refuse a SATSS

member who does not have a

voucher, if they are using the new

barcoded card. The Department

is working closely with the

metropolitan Central Booking

Services (CBSs) to identify drivers

that have yet to download the app

and assist them in the transition to

the new digital arrangement.

Note that drivers who do not

have the SATSS mobile application

downloaded or refuse to provide a

SATSS member (with only a SATSS

ID for scanning) a subsidised fare

will be in breach of the SATSS

Conditions of Use for Drivers

of Taxi Services and Certain Car




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50 October/November 2021

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nimble city car engineered with the freedom of an SUV, that’s

brimming with new connected features.

When it comes to safety, our Yaris range protects your people with

Toyota Safety Sense, our intelligent on-road safety technology.

To find out more, visit your local Toyota Dealer or call

1800 679 247


Driver assist feature. Only operates under certain conditions. Check your Owner’s Manual for explanation of limitations.

Please drive safely.

52 October/November 2021

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