Uber Class Action
Maurice Blackburn has filed a class action against Uber on behalf of participants in the taxi, hire car, limousine and charter vehicle industry. This class action was introduced in response to losses suffered by drivers, licence owners, and operators, when Uber entered the Australian market.
It doesn't cost you anything to join this Class Action. Find out if you are eligible to join and register today.
We are disappointed with the Victorian government that the $250 BSP fee assistance has not yet been provided and neither has the sanitisation grants.
Also, as at the time of writing, no eligibility criteria has been circulated for BSPs in regional towns to register for a share in the $1m allocated government assistance.
With lockdown in metro Melbourne lasting for quite a few more weeks, there won't be many people travelling around and therefore not much work for taxi and hire car drivers.
In a nutshell, the Melbourne metropolitan lockdown looks like this:-
Curfew from 9pm to 5am
Outdoor exercise permitted for 2 hours per day
Public outdoor gatherings of two people or a household for up to two hours
Playgrounds have reopened
Single "social bubbles" - where 1 visitor is allowed if living alone or a single parent.
The CPV industry operators and drivers need all the financial assistance they can possibly receive. We have written to Victorian Minister for Public Transport, Mr Ben Carroll, and asked him what he is waiting for.
The Essential Services Commission (ESC) is required to review and set the maximum fares that commercial passenger vehicles in metro or urban and large regional zones can charge for UNBOOKED trips every two years.
On 8 September 2020, it announced its decision to keep maximum fares unchanged and ‘time and distance’ tariffs remain optional.
In its report the ESC stated, "Given the current and uncertain future impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the commercial passenger vehicle industry, keeping maximum fares unchanged will provide some level of stability for consumers and unbooked taxi service providers."
The maximum fares apply to unbooked trips that begin in the metro or urban and large regional zones which cover most of metropolitan Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Frankston, Dandenong and the Mornington Peninsula.
The ESC stated in the report that by not changing the fares it is being kind to BSPs as they will not be required to update meters and stickers during these challenging times.
What does this all mean? Rank and hail (unbooked) trip fares are limited to the maximum fare specified by the ESC, but booked trips are free to set their own prices. Doesn't seem quite fair, does it?
The CPVV recently released a report on "A proposed framework for training and assessing drivers of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles".
This report recommends that:
What we find incredible is that the CPVV is only just waking up to the fact that these recommendations are needed!
Why not learn from another state's hard work in implementing this training and use its training modules. In doing so, time and money would definitely be saved. Implementing this mandatory driver training now would give the Victorian drivers the opportunity to undertake this training whilst they have downtime during the COVID-19 lockdown. It would in fact, give the drivers something to do to keep their accreditation up-to-date, and even make them feel useful by bettering their skills.
Applications for the Taxi and Limo Industry Assistance Scheme were due on September 4, but at that date the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads issued an extension for a further week until September 11.
You have to wonder what was so difficult in filling out 6 pages of information so that you could claim your entitlement. Or was it just many people had not been informed that they could apply for this funding?
Take care and stay safe.
Toni Peters, Director
TAA reports on various topics regarding the Australian and International commercial passenger transport sector.