UberX Given The Green Light In NSW

An illustration picture shows the logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone next to the picture of an official German taxi sign in Frankfurt, September 15, 2014. A Frankfurt high court will hold a hearing on a recent lawsuit brought against Uberpop by Taxi Deutschland on Tuesday.  San Francisco-based Uber, which allows users to summon taxi-like services on their smartphones, offers two main services, Uber, its classic low-cost, limousine pick-up service, and Uberpop, a newer ride-sharing service, which connects private drivers to passengers - an established practice in Germany that nonetheless operates in a legal grey area of rules governing commercial transportation. The company has faced regulatory scrutiny and court injunctions from its early days, even as it has expanded rapidly into roughly 150 cities around the world.   REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach (GERMANY - Tags: BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT CRIME LAW TRANSPORT)

The NSW state government has legalised UberX, with premier Mike Baird’s cabinet legalising the service immediately and finalise a compensation plan for taxi owners whose licence plate values will drop.

The Daily Telegraph is reporting the nearly 6,000 taxi plate holders in NSW will be compensated $20,000 per plate — and be allowed to continue operating in the same capacity as they already do. Multiple plate owners will be able to claim for a maximum of two plates. Additional funds will be set aside to further compensate owners who only purchased plates recently; the entire fund will cost nearly $120 million for the state.

Taxis will retain the exclusive rights to pick passengers up from streets and airports. Uber drivers will have to pay a licence fee, criminal background checks and have their cars regularly put under safety checks.

NSW has become the second state or territory to legalise ride sharing services, following the ACT.

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