Cabcharge CEO Andrew Skelton has highlighted major concerns with Australia’s fast-growing taxi industry in regards to insurance, regulation, legality and accountability.
Following the news that Uber has expanded its Australian app-friendly business into the closely guarded and lucrative corporate market – releasing a shareable company account for corporate employees – Skelton told Business Insider Australia that Cabcharge-related apps were available “long before the so called ‘innovators’ arrived”.
Here’s his statement in full (with our highlights added):
“Cabcharge is an Australian company offering Australian corporate travellers the ubiquity of using legal authorised Taxis everywhere in Australia from their homes, offices, Airports and Taxis on the street and having the Government controlled fares charged to corporate travel accounts.
“Other start-up services are available piecemeal, are not available everywhere, are illegal in most jurisdictions, and their drivers do not necessarily require the same range of background, police or medical checks. We believe our community deserves better than someone in their own car with little accountability, no insurance and no regulation.
“Some app-based business are notorious for different and unpredictable charges at different times, and for taking up to 20% of the driver’s fare. To Cabcharge it’s about ensuring your people are safe and your expenses are controllable.
“Cabcharge is constantly updating technologies and offers booking apps which are legal and accountable. In fact, apps like 13CABS, mTaxi and Silver Service have been available to Australians since 2009 and were built in-house at Cabcharge long before the so-called ‘innovators’ arrived.
“Cabcharge and its Taxi Network partners will continue to make sure your people are transported safely and you are billed appropriately with certainty about pricing.”
Cabcharge pulled in around $60 million profit in 2012 and 2013 but is now under threat from growing competitors like Uber, who are simplifying their app-based services and increasing accessibility.
Uber for Business recently removed the reimbursement aspect from employee expense reports, saving time and eliminating the need for staff to collect (and subsequently lose, as we do) a pile of paper receipts.
Until now, Cabcharge has had most of the corporate market sewn up, so this move by Uber probably won’t win it many friends within the taxi industry.
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