Last Thursday the NSW Taxi Council took the fight against illegal ridesharing right to Uber’s front door. Based on a broadcast e-mail from Uber that it was recruiting for UberX-drivers at the Canada Bay Club in Five Dock Sydney, the NSW Taxi Council team with the support of networks as well as the President of the NSW TDA, mounted a professional public campaign outside the club to alert potential UberX recruits of the risks of driving for UberX. This campaign involved the following:
- A large variable message sign displayed right outside the club with key messages about the illegality and risks of UberX;
- The distribution of flyers to potential UberX-drivers about the risks of ridesharing;
- Direct engagement with potential UberX-drivers to explain to them the risks associated with illegal ridesharing;
- Attendance at the UberX’ recruitment session to gain an understanding of what representations Uber is making to potential recruits
At all times the staff of the Taxi Council and other industry representatives acted with the utmost professionalism and with respect for all parties. The management of the Canada Bay Club was concerned about the marketing campaign happening outside their club but upon learning that Uber was recruiting for an illegal taxi service, they advised that they would not be allowing Uber back to their premises after today. Also convinced was a number of potential UberX-recruits that providing illegal ridesharing services was not a sensible idea due to the significant risks involved. The assessment of the day was that there was not a great deal of interest shown in wanting to drive for UberX.
To follow up on this activity, representatives of the NSW Taxi Council attended the taxi holding bay at the domestic airport this afternoon with letters prepared for taxi drivers to send to their local State members regarding UberX and the potential risks to the NSW Taxi Industry arising from this illegal service. Upon reading the draft letters (addressed to their respective MP’s), dozens of taxi and hire car drivers willingly signed them. They also thanked the NSW Taxi Council for this effort in bringing this critical issue to the attention of the members of State Parliament. The overwhelming message from drivers was that they wanted to see more of this kind of action to ensure that UberX and ridesharing generally was properly dealt with and their livelihoods protected.
The NSW Taxi Council has a number of these events planned in the coming weeks so that this momentum continues through to the election and beyond.
- A variable message board showed a number of messages about UberX.