Angry Taxi Drivers Hit Streets of Melbourne in Protest of Ride-Sharing Apps

Since two years there has been a series of protests happening across the world in countries like London, Paris, Rome, Milan and Berlin by the country’s own taxi drivers. The protests are meant to oppose the ‘Ride-Sharing’ feature introduced by the giant taxi operating companies like Uber. One such significant protest happened in London about two years back where about 4000 taxi drivers brought the entire city to standstill by protesting in the streets with their taxi causing heavy traffic jam. Even before that there has been multiple protests conducted in other countries all over the world. Uber and Lyft are two giant companies who operate sharing rides through their app in about 200+ countries all over the world.

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Traditional taxi drivers complain that companies like Uber are attracting a large population of their passengers by offering rides at cheaper rates. However every government stands to frame rules and regulations for all taxi companies, which is not happening in most of the countries.

The protests that happened recently in Melbourne had about more than 100 drivers who were found honking and blocking the road with their taxis. They were also found to hold boards with signs hailing for fair and safe sustainability of their industry.

During the protest a Victorian taxi driver told the press that the group might become violent any time if their issues are not fixed as soon as possible as they were bleeding too much money by then. Their yearly income has been brought down where in they were losing about $10000 per year. They are mainly against the ‘Ride-sharing’ option which is as per the government regulations, illegal. However companies like Uber are managing to operate in all the countries without any restrictions and regulations.

The protestors were found so violent at one stage that the Uber drivers themselves were hesitating to take their cars outside fearing that the traditional drivers might manage their cars.

“If the decisions are not made correctly, things will be out of my hands and the drivers will do what they want to do. It could get pretty ugly and violent.

The union heads themselves were not sure how things would turn up and go out of their control if their protests are not answered in the right way and of they are not offered with any proper solution. They were not ready to give up unless until the committee members were called for a meeting and offered a constructive plan. They were agitated on the fact that the government was taking too much of time to come up with the solution and they wanted to know where they stand for the country.

Many countries have permitted Uber to operate in their countries under the same rules and regulations as that for the traditional drivers which sounds reasonable and fair. They drivers of Melbourne protested they raised the question that if other countries could do it why their government doesn’t take the same decision when allowing the giant companies into their countries.

What Uber does to the traditional drivers?

The Uber app incorporates fleet and driver management, social interaction between driver and passenger, taxi hailing and payment. They post threat not only to traditional taxi drivers but also to users and regulators when they transfer controls over other aspects like pricing, discrimination, work force operating with the software of the app. In general cab driving involves lots of risk and relatively less paid. However the industry growth is helpful in offering job opportunity for many and helps them to lead their lives with basic needs. In London the Cab drivers are even ought to appear for some kind of tests depending upon the category they are opting to work for. Such regulations are set up by the government to avoid mis-happenings to great extent. But the traditional taxi drivers rise up the question asking why aren’t the Uber drivers made to undergo all the same set of tests. Definitely a point to be given a thought.

How the Uber passengers feel?

A person who has to start using the service has to first get the app installed in their phone with a valid payment details and proper address which means Uber couldn’t be used by someone who is not holding a bank account. To start with the first ride they ought to have a minimum balance amount which varies according to the money value in each country.  The best part of booking through the app as per the customers is that they are let to know the arrival time. When u book a taxi by calling them over the phone they might inform you that they will be coming in ten minutes but most of them couldn’t make it, however genuine the reason might me. But Uber, as soon as someone books the cab, it displays the countdown time and also shows the location of the cab through GPS.

A Uber driver would be able to track the address better as they would be in turn shown the location of booking through GPS and manages to reach the place earlier than the private taxi drivers as they might be in need of stopping and checking the route.

As most of the Uber taxis are driven by the owners of the cars themselves there is a notion that they would maintain the cars better than the drivers who work for someone else, among the customers.

Ride Sharing – a boon or a bane?                     

One thing is very clear. Ride Sharing is bringing in a huge change in the taxi industry, whether good or bad. People are now happy with the pricing and the discounts they are offered with for referrals and rides. But to be noted the Uber doesn’t hold any control over the prices, at least in some countries have strict regulations over the pricing, not all. However it is very clear that a one single concept called ‘Ride Sharing’ has the power to influence the economic status of the common people as well as the country itself.

Author Bio :-

Anand Rajendran is the CEO and Co-Founder of Gacie, one of the best mobile app development firms in Chennai. He is also associated with digital marketing industry who offers internet marketing solutions to various business firms. Rideyo, a mobile app that is built with Uber Clone script enables taxi owners to manage their business easily from anywhere.