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Media release – CPVV partners with Uber

Jan 19, 2021 | Media Releases, News

CPVV Partners With Uber to Deliver the MPTP… Have They Learned Nothing?

Rod Barton MP condemns the Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria (CPVV) for partnering with Uber to deliver the Multi-Purpose Taxi Program (MPTP).

The MPTP assists with the travels needs of people with accessibility and mobility needs by offering subsidised taxi fares. This program is an essential service that exists to ensure that everyone can access safe and efficient transport, especially those most vulnerable.

For years, taxis have delivered the MPTP. Undertaking training that allows drivers to transport vulnerable groups. This is a program that has long been built on trust, flexibility and safety.

Unfortunately, this program is now under attack. The CPVV is now allowing rideshare company Uber to offer trips under the MPTP. This completely undermines the principles that are the foundation of the MPTP program.

We have seen time and time again, that when incidences happen, Uber fails to be a good corporate citizen. During police, investigations Uber have previously refused to supply critical information and demanded Victoria Police serve an international warrant! Yet the CPVV has chosen to let Uber transport Victoria’s most vulnerable.

There have to be questions asked about whether this is appropriate. While taxies are required to have camera’s inside the car to ensure safety, Uber is subject to no such regulation. It is also very concerning that those with accessibility and mobility needs will now be subject to Uber’s unregulated surge pricing. A cost that will be worn by consumers and the treasurer. Not only that, but Uber does not even offer Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles.

This forces us to ask, what is the solution the CPVV is trying to solve?

It is obvious that this partnership between the CPVV and Uber does not serve the interests of Victorians, but rather the business interests of this huge multi-national! How else could you explain the CPVV’s choice to gift the MPTP program to a company with such little care for safety, fairness, and justice when the existing program has been delivering quality services for years.

Greater transparency is needed if we are to understand how the CPVV could have come to this decision. Barton calls on the government to immediately release all details of any trials conducted as well as the:

  • risk assessment;
  • impact on established operators;
  • stakeholder assessment; and
  • economic review.

The CPVV’s announcement of the program has been served at the worst time in the history of the taxi and hire car industry.

After years of economic devastation that began with the removal of taxi licenses in 2017 and has been compounded by the devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, the taxi and hire car industry is on its knees.

The industry has not recovered. The regulator has provided no clear plan for recovery but has for Uber! This announcement by the CPVV may well be the final blow that will cripple this industry.

Thousands of Victorian families in the taxi and hire industry are struggling to put food on the table. For rural and regional taxi families the MPTP can represent up to 50% of their turnover. This is the difference between small communities having a taxi service or not.

In this pandemic, one would have thought Minister Carroll would show some compassion for the struggles of these families.

Gifting the MPTP to Uber shows just how far removed the CPVV and the Minister are from the real financial suffering experienced by those in the industry. The government just had to put in 22 million dollars to prop up the now limited fleet, now Transport Minister Ben Carroll has approved 50,000 part-timers to service Victoria’s most vulnerable.

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Metropolitan and the Leader of the Transport Matters Party Rod Barton MP:

“In this time, it is the regulator’s responsibility to see the financial devastation experienced in the taxi and hire car industry and respond with compassion, fairness and transparency. Gifting the MPTP to Uber is nothing short of kicking the industry while it’s already on its knees.”

Media contact: Norm Dunn, Chief of Staff Rod Barton MP, 0438 175 113 Norm.dunn@parliament.vic.gov.au

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