Perth has already launched private taxi transportation where no cash is needed to pay for the trip anymore. This is an application for smartphones called Uber which is based in San Francisco that makes traveling a lot easier. This allows commuters to use their phones to book private charter vehicles after providing their credit card details. Once they reach their destination, the cost is automatically charged to their credit cards; no longer giving them the hassle of providing cash to pay for their transport.
However, it was discovered that the California-based company has a list of those belonging to the Department of Transport and has blacklisted them from accessing the app. Thus, the government has conducted an investigation to catch the drivers out. This is to ensure the compliance to the legislation: the Taxi Act and Transport Coordination Act. Under the West Australian law, any vehicle that carries passengers for a fee must be a licensed taxi or an omnibus. Along with this, investigation with regards to this law includes offenses that border within drivers charging less or more than the required fare, are not suitably licensed, use a vehicle that is not suitably licensed or are not keeping appropriate records of services provided.
It has been an issue that some of these vehicle operators are insistently evasive and block investigators from accessing the applications with regards to their booking systems. According to them, this is a reasonable precaution to ensure the identities and other personal details were not to be revealed. If under these circumstances hinder the process of investigation, it may result in the contract being suspended or terminated by the Department of Transport.
It was stated that it was hard to enforce such investigation, given that the citizens have already adapted to the technology that has been used by the government. Uber, classified as a private taxi, has been chosen by the citizens to use since it is safe, reliable and less hassle, too. But according to the Taxi Industry Forum of Western Australia (TIFWA), if law has to be enforced then it should be done. There have already been at least 20 cases of drivers being charged for illegally operating a taxi in West Australia.
Regular taxi drivers have also been challenged with the presence of Uber in many places. People choose this app of private taxis over regular taxis for most times than not which makes it harder for taxi drivers to earn their day’s work. It is a lot more convenient for the users/passengers than waiting in line for a taxi or randomly hoping a vacant taxi passes by. It is being used all over the world already and has adapted to the technology of today. It has been proven how this makes the world a lot more convenient for those who spend and sometimes less for those who earn, depending on how technology is applied. In general, this investigation that is being conducted by the West Australian government becomes both a challenge and a conflict to its citizens based on the laws provided.