Uber passengers will be slugged with a $1 fee for every trip as part of landmark reforms regulating ride-share services in Victoria.
The reforms passed the upper house on Friday following a last-minute amendment introduced by Sex Party MP Fiona Patten to slash the per trip levy from $2.
The levy will apply to all taxi, Uber and other commercial passenger vehicles. Photo: Ryan Stuart
The levy will apply to all taxi, Uber and other commercial passenger vehicles, with the money to be used for an industry transition fund.
The government also agreed to remove a $50 million cap for the fund.
The levy, which will be applied on a per trip basis, will replace annual licence costs, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said this would cut costs, increase competition and drive down fares for passengers.
“This legislation will regulate ride-sharing, cut fares and provide the most generous industry transition and support package for the existing taxi and hire car industry in Australia,” she said.
The reforms leave room for the levy to be hiked if the revenue is not enough to cover the costs of financial assistance provided to the taxi industry.
Under Labor’s proposed reforms taxi licence holders would receive up to $100,000 for their first licence and $50,000 for their second, third and fourth licences.
On Saturday, Uber Victoria managerLucas Groeneveldwelcomed the move, saying it would benefit everyone.
“Fiona Patten introduced sensible amendments to move reform forward for the benefit of the travelling public and the industry as a whole,” Mr Groeneveld said.
“We’re pleased the Legislative Council has accepted the amendments and trust the government will pass the bill when Parliament resumes.”
Opposition police spokesmanDavid Hodgett said the government voted for increased taxes on all Victorians.
“Daniel Andrews decided to target regional Victorians by voting to slug regional commuters for their taxi and Uber rides,” Mr Hodgett said.