Just like Ross and Rachel and all the other sitcom couples we've been way too invested in, the on-again off-again relationship between Uber and technical legality is the love affair of our time. And in the newest chapter of the saga, Uber is very much on again in NSW after the Baird government moved to legalise the beloved service.
Yep, from midnight tonight Uber will be legal in the state of NSW, but not without some compromises. According to The Daily Telegraph, the taxi companies — playing the role of the jealous love rival in this narrative — will be compensated $20,000 per registered number plate. This might seem excessive, but the current cost to register as a cab is bonkers — in Victoria, metropolitan taxi rego currently sits at $22,703 per year. Under the new rule, Uber drivers will have to pay a license fee, although, how much that fee will be is yet to be determined. Normal taxis also get complete dibs of cab ranks (naturally) and Sydney Airport pick-ups. Guess we're still gonna have to drag out suitcases to the boundary of the airport to wait for an Uber, after all.
NSW is the second Australian state to legalise Uber, following the ACT's ruling in October. It's a stark contrast to the other side of the border, where the Victorian government have just set a legal precedent that may effectively outlaw the ridesharing app. Although, there have been no signs of change yet — as all Victorian Uber users know, apart from some surging immediately after the news broke, the service has generally gone on unaffected.
So what's going to happen to the landscape of private transport love now that Uber is a genuine competitor in NSW? What dramatic twists and turns can we expect next season? Stay tuned to find out.