Uber, DiDi and other rideshare operators could be forced to install CCTV cameras in their cars under changes floated by a review into the industry.
A parliamentary inquiry into the Andrews Government’s 2017 commercial passenger vehicle reforms has called for more oversight and changes to the current rules on how taxi fares are regulated.
The review also recommended a new ban on touting, to be legislated this week, and better counselling services to help taxi licence holders impacted by the changes.
Transport Matters MP Rod Barton said the inquiry’s 13 recommendations would help address the impact of deregulation on the industry.
“This ‘bakers dozen’ offers recognition of the harm that was done to individuals and families by the 2017 reforms and I believe they have the potential to move the industry forward and deliver a level and fair playing field in the future,” he said.
“I now invite the government to work with me to repair the past and shape a future commercial passenger vehicle industry in an ethical, viable and sustainable way.”
The inquiry’s report recommended the state government consider mandating CCTV cameras be fitted into all commercial passenger vehicles.
Another requirement for companies to share their trip data would also allow government departments to work out the impact of ridesharing on Melbourne’s traffic congestion.
A review into how taxi fares are regulated could also see charges rise with the consumer price index.
A spokesman said the government would now consider the report’s recommendations.
“The government has undertaken the most comprehensive reforms to the commercial passenger vehicle industry ever, which cut costs for operators, increased competition, improved services and drove down fares,” he said.
It comes after Uber this week lost its licence to operate in London over concerns it was not meeting safety and security standards.
13 CABS chief operating officer Stuart Overell said regulators in Australia should look at safety concerns over rideshare services.
“We don’t rely solely on mobile phone GPS tracking,” he said.
“We also have extremely rigorous background checks and training for all our 13 CABS drivers. “This includes criminal and police checks as well as in depth training to help empower drivers to handle difficult situations.”