ACT rules Uber can ride into the territory

ANGRY: Taxi drivers protest against Uber in Macquarie St, Sydney, earlier this month.
ANGRY: Taxi drivers protest against Uber in Macquarie St, Sydney, earlier this month. PETER Boylenew Zuluaap

CONTROVERSIAL ride-sharing company Uber has welcomed Australian Capital Territory Government moves to make the service legal.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr announced on Wednesday that Uber and similar ride-sharing services would be legalised and regulated as a gen-uine competitor to taxis.

Mr Barr also announced cuts to taxi leasing fees and hire car restrictions, as well as criminal and health checks and accreditation for Uber drivers.

The ACT regulations will also include mandatory driver training and compulsory third-party insurance, and drivers will have to be drug and alcohol-free.

The approval has angered the taxi industry, which is expected to fight any moves by other states to legalise ride-sharing operations.

Australian Taxi Industry Association chief Blair Davies told the Financial Review the ACT Government was trying to be "popular" off the back of the ride-sharing company's popularity.

He said the government should have taken the same view as the tax office, which had defined Uber as a taxi service.

Uber is expected to be up and running in Canberra by the end of next month.

Topics:  editors picks taxi uber

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