Trialling regulation a good idea

Stuff reports:

Ride-sharing service  launches in Christchurch on Thursday and will be free for the first two weeks.

Didn’t realise it wasn’t there already.

I use it for both my work and when travelling on business for a company I’m on the board of. The office manager there commented how great it is as they automatically get e-mailed a receipt showing the cost of the trip, a map showing the exact journey, and the date and time – allowing them to work out what activity the travel was related to.

In Christchurch, Uber will make it easier for drivers to get approved through a registration that costs $20 and takes six days to obtain. They usually require a “P” endorsement – a passenger endorsement ticket from the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) that costs $2000 and takes three months to get.

Drivers will still be screened for a criminal record by the Ministry of Justice and for their driving history by the NZTA.

Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss said he replied to a letter from Uber, requesting a three-month ridesharing trial with the different registration model, on March 1.

“I indicated Uber’s request needed to be considered as part of the Small Passenger Services review. The review’s public consultation process is now complete and I expect to announce Cabinet’s final decisions in the near future.”

Uber is launching in Christchurch anyway. The two-week free period will let the Government see the new system in action, Peppitt said.

“The challenge is understanding what you’re dealing with and writing sensible safety-based regulations around that.

“Providing a working model for the Government to be able to look at and provide regulations around is a key part of what we are hoping to do here.”

That’s a good idea – trialling it.

Last month, New Zealand Taxi Federation chief executive Roger Heale said: “Uber are asking for a trial where existing safety checks and balances be removed so part-time drivers can set up shop without regard to many of the legal requirements that currently exist.”

The question is are the requirements necessary and do they add any value? Why require drivers to pass navigation tests in the age of GPS?

The industry should be looking at reducing regulation (except Police checks) on all competitors, rather than forcing the current model designed for n


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