Uber is Australia’s most popular ridesharing service. Picture: AP
Uber is Australia’s most popular ridesharing service. Picture: AP

Study says long-term future of ridesharing ‘unsustainable’

ALMOST 50 per cent of rideshare drivers quit within three months, as safety fears in the industry spur calls for a sweeping review of regulations.

Rideshare Drivers' Association of Australia secretary Les Johnson said statistics showed many drivers were becoming turned off by low pay and safety concerns soon after starting.

"With the current rates being paid to drivers, the long-term future of drivers is totally unsustainable, and currently there is a turnover of about 50 per cent in the first three months," Mr Johnson said.

He said many drivers were encouraged with promises of high earning capacity but the "carrot held out to new entrants is a total myth".

A spokeswoman for Uber said a survey of 1700 of the company's drivers in September found 83 per cent liked using the app to make money.

She said the company was committed to driver safety and had recently launched an in-app emergency assistance button for both drivers and passengers, and that GPS records were kept for every trip.

"We have a team of former law enforcement professionals who are on call to work with police 24/7," she said.

Taxi Council Queensland boss Blair Davies said the State Government was reviewing the 2016 legislation that made ridesharing legal, but had failed to enter into "any serious consultation" with the industry.

Taxi Council Queensland boss Blair Davies says on average, rideshare drivers are making less than the minimum wage.
Taxi Council Queensland boss Blair Davies says on average, rideshare drivers are making less than the minimum wage.

Mr Davies said a recent survey of rideshare drivers that showed, on average, they were making less than the minimum wage was a "wake-up" call for the Government to get serious about the review.

And he said it was time rideshare companies took action on driver complaints.

"Taxis are equipped with compulsory safety technology, including high-quality tamperproof security cameras and hardwired GPS tracking," he said. "It's now overdue for the competitors to also invest in safety technologies."

Uber has had GPS tracking and customer-controlled safety features since it first came out.

Transport Workers Union Queensland branch secretary Peter Biagini said thousands of rideshare drivers were working full time for "poverty pay".

"Drivers are putting up with abuse, violence, discrimination and more so companies like Uber can continue taking a bigger and bigger cut," he said.



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