Taxis and rideshare services could connect commuters with buses and trains as part of a revamped transport network powered by a single payment option under a new transport plan. Photo: Supplied OPT review: Highlights of the industry Photo: Opportunities for Personal Trans
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OPT review: Taxi licence revenues Photo: Opportunities for Personal Trans

OPT review: Licence distribution Photo: Opportunities for Personal Trans

OPT review: Licencing options Photo: Opportunities for Personal Trans

OPT review: Driver screening Photo: Opportunities for Personal Trans

OPT review: universal service obligations Photo: Opportunities for Personal Trans

Taxis and rideshare services could connect commuters with buses and trains as part of a revamped transport network powered by a single payment option under a new transport plan.

The proposal would bring “previously unforeseen efficiencies and opportunities for industry” according to the group charged with reviewing the future of taxis and rideshare services such as Uber in Queensland.

The Opportunities for Personalised Transport Review Taskforce pushed the proposal in its industry green paper, released publicly on Friday.

Four ideas remained on the table for tackling the conflict between the established taxi industry and rideshare companies such as Uber, Lyft and GoCatch.

The review proposed either a do-nothing approach, whole-of-state legalisation of rideshare with hailing and cab ranks restricted to taxis, SEQ-only legalisation or complete deregulation.

But taskforce chair Jim Varghese said the integration of personal and public transport would work no matter what option was chosen.

The idea is aimed at tackling the problem of the “first and last mile”, the distance a commuter has to travel to catch a bus, train or ferry.

“First and last mile issues must also be considered in an integrated passenger transport network, as it highlights that most commuter journeys do not begin at the train or bus stop,” the report read.

“The use of feeder personalised transport services is one solution to the first and last mile issue.

“By bridging the gap between public transport and the points where journeys start and end, combined with the use of a seamless payment option, it would improve integration across passenger transport modes.”

On Friday morning, the veteran public servant told ABC Radio taxis should also be able to access low volume bus routes, in conjunction with local government.

“Now the effect of that would be to increase utilisation of taxis … so the impact of this is that your income, your sustainable income actually goes up.”

Average taxi licence values in Brisbane, the most sought after market, have halved since Uber’s introduction in 2014, down to $260,000.

According to the task force, the majority of the state’s 3260 licence owners (68 per cent) are individuals, with about 210 owning multiple licences.

Mr Varghese said he had a lot of sympathy for those individual “mum and pop” owners.

The green paper leaves open several options for dealing with major concerns raised by both the taxi industry and advocates, such as taxi owner compensation, disability access and safety.

According to the task force, the majority of the state’s 3260 licence owners (68 per cent) are individuals, with about 210 owning multiple licences.

The review flagged a possible need to create an industry commission, to oversee the industry, promote the use of technology and implement the new regulatory framework.

Consultation will be open for three weeks, with public meetings in Brisbane, Mackay and Townsville.

Taxi Council Queensland said it would consider the review before it made a comment.

Uber urged the government to choose the right option for Queenslanders not “appease the incumbent industry”.

The RACQ recommended the option to legalise Uber throughout the whole state, leaving no limits for ride-sharing licences, removing fare regulation for booked cars, allowing extra fees for services such as wheelchair accessible taxis, and retaining maximum fares for hailed and cab rank taxis.

The taskforce noted all three legalisation options strongly met the reviews principles but the regulatory framework for the SEQ-only approach would not be suitable in the long term.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.