You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Uber, taxis in the dark on Vic legislation

AAP logoAAP 18/08/2016 By Luke Costin, Kaitlyn Offer and Helen Velissaris

Victoria's taxi and Uber drivers are still in the dark about the state's plans to legalise ride sharing services, despite reports detailing specific reforms.

The government will legalise ride-sharing, allow taxi companies to set their own fares and introduce a $1 "fairness fund" across all taxi and ride share services to compensate taxi licence owners, News Corp reports.

However, Jacinta Allan failed to announce or elaborate on any of the government's plans, saying information will come by the end of August.

"We announced some time ago we'd release the details of the framework in August and that's a timeline we intend to meet," she told reporters on Friday in Bendigo.

"I'm not in a position today to be able to comment on various information that's in the media today."

She said the government didn't want to repeat mistakes of other jurisdictions "where changes have been rushed".

Shadow Transport Minister David Hodgett said the government has been blindsided by leaks.

"Clearly this is a leak from cabinet, unplanned from what Daniel Andrews and Jacinta Allan would have been expecting," Mr Hodgett said on Friday.

Mr Hodgett flagged the $1 "fairness fund" as a concern, worried it will add to the cost of living pressures to passengers.

An Uber spokesman said the company had not be consulted on the detail of the current proposal so far, but trusted it would be and urged for "sensible" reform.

The taxi industry is also unaware of the latest developments.

An Uber sticker © Provided by AAP An Uber sticker

"We were expecting an announcement in the near future, obviously, but we're not aware of much more than what's in the paper this morning," Victorian Taxi Association chief executive David Samuel told 3AW on Thursday.

Granting taxi companies the right to set their own fares was something the industry had been advocating for some time, he said.

As for compensation to taxi licence owners, Mr Samuel wants the state to cough up $150,000 per plate, which is roughly the current market price.

Alan Fels, the former chairman of consumer watchdog ACCC, chaired an inquiry into the taxi industry shortly before Uber's launch and recommended a "hardship" licence buyback scheme.

He said many taxi licence owners had done "incredibly well" and earned income from the plates for many years.

"What I acknowledge is that recent licence purchasers do suffer hardship as they (could have) paid half a million and now licences are worth $150,000, and falling" he told ABC radio.

Victoria is the fifth state or territory to concede that Uber is here to stay, after NSW, Western Australia, South Australia and the ACT moved to regulate ride sharing.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon