New South Wales has officially legalised Uber.
The state government gave the tick of approval for the ride sharing service in cabinet, also offering compensation to traditional cab drivers, which is understood to include payments of $20,000.
In a Facebook post, NSW Premier Mike Baird said the Government had to act on behalf of taxi drivers.
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“We’re legalising Uber,” he wrote.
“The digital revolution is disrupting and transforming the way business is done right across the world, and the taxi industry is a prime example.
“The thing that has made the taxi/ride-share situation difficult to manage is that, unlike other businesses facing disruption (say, video stores facing disruption from Netflix) the government has sold and regulated taxi licence plates and has a responsibility to offer some protection for the mums and dads and investors who own these plates.
“At the same time, we believe in innovation and we want the best outcome for consumers.
The solution we have come to basically boils down to this:
* Ride-sharing services will become legal
* Taxi licence plate owners will benefit from an adjustment package funded through both government funding and a short term levy on ride-sharing
* We are getting rid of over 50 cumbersome regulations
* Safety will be boosted through a new regulator and commissioner to oversee the industry
“We are helping consumers to win through having more choice in how they travel and simultaneously being fair to taxi owners as they transition into the future.”
Taxis will still have the exclusive rights to pick up passengers from the airport and taxi ranks.
Uber drivers will now have to cover more costs associated with licenses as well as training and undergo criminal background checks.