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Adelaide City Councillor pushes for CBD pick-up areas for Uber and other ride share services

Councillor pushes for CBD pick-up areas for Uber.  Mr Martin motives are questionable when its stated that Govt is dragging its heels” on embracing the technology.

PASSENGERS would be able to order and access ride share services such as Uber from designated pick-up areas at major events, under a new push by an Adelaide City Councillor.

Councillor Phil Martin will move a motion at tonight’s meeting to investigate establishing additional passenger loading zones to support ride share companies, taxis and private pick-ups and drop-offs in the CBD from July.

Areas are still to be proposed but could include Rundle Mall and sport, entertainment, dining or nightclub precincts in the city and North Adelaide.

Currently, licenced taxis are the only vehicles that can accept bookings from ranks or street hails, in accordance with the Passenger Transport Act 1994.

Specific zones dedicated to ride share companies are not permitted but there are ways around it.

The creation of permanent or temporary public passenger loading zones, that do not directly reference specific ride share companies, is permitted under current legislation.

That means such zones would need to be available for use by all vehicles, not just ride share vehicles such as Uber.

People would not be able to hail the service; however they can book them to and from the specific pick up zones.

Mr Martin told The Advertiser Adelaide should investigate the scheme, which is being embraced interstate, saying the State Government had been “dragging its heels” on embracing the technology.

“They have these interstate and mostly at airports and at specific locations such as events, and Melbourne seems to be leading the way and has already created specific ride share zones for footy, racing and other events,” he said.

“Uber has been around since 2009 and it operates in more than 500 cities. This is disruptive technology which has been coming for almost a decade, and I think the South Australian Government was dragging its heels recognising the need to accommodate the industry while at the same time accommodate the impacts on the taxi industry.

Up to $8 million a year is set to be reaped by the Uber levy, with passengers paying a $1 surcharge on every taxi, chauffeur and Uber trip on weekdays and $2 on weekends.

Mr Martin said the levy had created an even playing field in the industry.

“We are by creating the zones creating a safe environment for pick-up and set-down,” he said.

“With more than 100,000 registered users in Adelaide, that is a fairly substantial number of South Australians who are ahead of the game and ahead of the Government.”

An Uber spokesman said the exploration of the plan could benefit the industry here in Adelaide.

“Anything that makes the pick-up and drop-off experience safer and more convenient can only be a good thing for Adelaide drivers and riders,” the spokesman said.

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