Uber in New Zealand (and around the world) has been under the heat lately. But it’s not afraid to take on this heat! Just today, Uber NZ posted out an article detailing on how their system works and what type of certifications are required before taxi drivers get to pick up passengers.
Before any partner-driver can drive on the Uber platform in New Zealand, they must be fully licensed and accredited by the New Zealand Transport Agency to be a private hire driver.
Each partner holds:
- A current driver’s licence
- A current Passenger Endorsement (which includes a comprehensive criminal history and driving history check conducted by the NZTA, and which is also required to drive a taxi)
- A Passenger Service License (PSL) (or works for a PSL holder)
- A Private Hire Service Registration
- A Certificate Of Fitness for their vehicle
In addition, we use the NZTA’s Driver Check database to be instantly notified if a partner-driver has a license or permit revoked so that we can take immediate action.
See, NZ Taxi Federation? I hope you’re taking some notes down here! They are not trying to operate illegally here! Instead of trying to compete with the new player, you try to take them down.
On the other hand, Uber do take a dig at the NZ Taxi Federation indirectly, by saying taximeters are old technology and that new technology should be embraced. They are also saying that the actions taken by the NZ Taxi Federation are putting riders’ safety at risk.
… To put this in context, riders are being kicked out onto the street at night, their safety is put at risk, and drivers are being harassed over grey areas in interpretation of a minor pricing rule. People are being treated like criminals because your fare quote might read $13-$15 as opposed to $14.30.
They also make mention of their so called “smartphone meter”:
You may have seen reports of fines being issued accusing Uber partners of using a smartphone as a taxi meter. This is not the case and the partners are contesting these fines in court. Transport for London recently reviewed this issue and agreed that a smartphone is not a taxi meter. We believe that the NZTA could come to a similar conclusion without the need for a lengthy debate that is not in the public interest.
Uber says it’s all about providing an affordable ride with transparent pricing at all times. I wonder if the prices will be raised after all the legal proceedings with the Courts have taken place!