Taxi industry transition adjusting to arrival of Uber and other ride sharing in Adelaide

Adelaide taxis had to compete with Uber and other ride-sharing services from July 2016.

The South Australian taxi industry faced a shakeup with ride-sharing services given the OK to operate in the state from July 2016.

As part of the reforms, the state government offered $30,000 compensation for each taxi licence (selling at $300,000 in 2014), $50 a week in compensation for a maximum of 11 months for licence lessees, and a freeze on new taxi licences for at least five years.

The compensation package cost $31 million, while the halt on taxi plate sales is estimated at $24 million and other measures are worth about $10 million. The assistance package will be funded by a $1 levy on all metropolitan taxi, chauffeur and ride-sharing trips.

Taxis continue to have the exclusive right to work at ranks or be hailed along with having pre-booked work and cash fares.  The three major taxi companies, Adelaide Independent, Suburban and Yellow Cabs, have their own app-based booking system iHail.

Other reforms announced are: better services for disabled, better rules around types of vehicles for taxi and chauffeur services, reduced credit card surcharges, fares increased on running and waiting times, a new peak and night-time tariff, more inspection and enforcement staff, new penalities, including on-the-spot fines and accredition removed, for drivers breaching rules.

In 2016, there were 1,035 taxis licences and 102 access cab licences in South Australia taking about eight million taxi trips each year and supporting 4,200 jobs.

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