SA’s treasurer says the government won’t allow ride-sharing service Uber to operate in the state as passengers may be put at risk.
Ride-sharing company Uber is operating illegally in South Australia and its drivers should expect to be fined, the state treasurer says.
The California-based company held its official Adelaide launch on Friday, with Port Adelaide captain Travis Boak and Adelaide captain Nathan van Berlo sharing its first service.
Uber allows ordinary drivers to offer a ride-sharing service and the company claims a typical fare will cost less than the average Adelaide taxi.
The service is limited to licensed drivers aged at least 24, whose vehicle has at least four doors and was manufactured after 2005.
But Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis says the service could put vulnerable passengers at risk.
“People get into taxis and hire cars late at night, they may have had a bit to drink (or) they may have had a very, very big night,” he told ABC radio on Monday.
“It’s a very dangerous option to take an Uber service – you don’t know who’s driving the car.
“You don’t know if the car has been checked and, most importantly, we can’t know when you got into that car and where you got out of that car or where you were meant to go.”
Mr Koutsantonis said Uber was operating illegally in South Australia and the government would issue fines to any drivers offering a ride under the Uber service.
All accredited taxi drivers were required to undergo criminal checks and vehicles were inspected regularly for roadworthiness, he said.
The governments of NSW and Queensland have cracked down on Uber on the basis that it doesn’t comply with existing state taxi service regulations.
An Uber spokeswoman said Mr Koutsantonis had his facts wrong.
“All partner drivers who use the Uber platform to connect with riders in South Australia are accredited, professionally licensed operators who are fully compliant with local laws,” she said in a statement.
“The safety of the drivers and riders who use Uber is always our highest priority.”
Uber passengers can see the name, face and vehicle registration of their driver prior to getting in the car, she said.