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Request to suspend Uber MPTP trial

Mar 23, 2020 | News, Parliament

On March 18 in Parliament I asked the Minister to suspend the Uber trial of MPTP in Geelong until it can be opened to all operators under the same safety and training requirements.

UPDATE 24 March 2020: A disappointing response from the Minister today, who assures us that Uber complies with all safety requirements to carry people with disabilities.

Read the Minister’s response here (PDF)

Suspend Uber MPTP trial

Today I asked the Minister to suspend the Uber trial of MPTP in Geelong until it can be opened to all operators under the same safety and training requirements.

Mr BARTON (Eastern Metropolitan) (12:17): My question is for the Minister for Public Transport, represented in this place by Minister Pulford. Uber is about to start a trial for a multipurpose taxi program in Geelong during which it will fund the 50 per cent subsidy which is normally picked up by the government on all trips taken, effectively buying market share. The trial will have a huge impact on the local taxi operators, who currently are required to operate with cameras, GPS, fixed meters and branding, which form strict safety guidelines and training to transport people with special needs. I ask the minister to suspend the trial until transparent KPIs can be established, consistent safety requirements applied to all operators and the trial can be opened to all commercial passenger vehicles, not just those who are prepared and able to pay.

Ms PULFORD (Western Victoria—Minister for Roads, Minister for Road Safety and the TAC, Minister for Fishing and Boating) (12:18): I thank Mr Barton for his question, and I will seek a written response from Minister Horne.

Mr BARTON (Eastern Metropolitan) (12:18): Uber is essentially buying this trial. In the past they have refused to share their trip data with the government, and therefore I question the information we would get from this trial other than the doctored report of its huge success. Will the minister release all current and past risk assessments undertaken by the regulator on Uber’s suitability as a provider of services to people with special needs under the multipurpose taxi program and details of how this trial will be evaluated?

Ms PULFORD (Western Victoria—Minister for Roads, Minister for Road Safety and the TAC, Minister for Fishing and Boating) (12:19): Again, I will take the opportunity to take that question on notice for Minister Horne.

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