Anthony Templeton, The Courier-Mail
February 6, 2017 12:30am
THE number of Uber drivers has almost doubled since the State Government went public with its plans to legalise ride-sharing.
Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe announced that ride-sharing would become legal and regulated last August – about a month before the rules commenced.
About 5000 drivers were working for Uber in August, and about 9000 are currently with the company.
Uber Queensland general manager Sam Bool said the State Government’s decision to legalise and regulate ride-sharing had created thousands of jobs.
“The Government has made the right call in embracing innovation and encouraging competition and we trust they’ll deliver on the sensible, safety-based reforms as initially proposed,” he said.
Uber operates in the Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba areas – with the majority of drivers in the state’s capital.
“We now see more than 580,000 Queenslanders use Uber on a regular basis and ride-sharing has undoubtedly become a vital part of the state’s transport mix,” Mr Bool said.
Uber driver Angela Hill, 29, who started driving for the company to get back into the workforce after having a baby, said she welcomed the Government’s move to legalise the ride-sharing industry. “I think it makes the customers more comfortable now that it is legal and regulated,” she said.
While legalising ride-sharing, the State Government has also cracked down on enforcing the industry. During four weeks over the Christmas and New Year period, 146 ride-share drivers were fined for illegally using taxi zones, which is prohibited under regulations governing the industry.