Uber has stepped up its fight against the Victorian government, launching a new campaign urging its users to bombard state politicians with messages of support for the ridesharing service.
A one-click campaign was activated on Friday, appearing when users opened the Uber app and allowing them to email their member of parliament and encourage them to legalise and regulate ridesharing.
While the service has been legalised in NSW and the ACT, and other states are beginning to take action, Victoria is yet to announce how it will deal with ridesharing.
Sex Party leader Fiona Patten put forward a bill regulating ridesharing last month, and Uber Victoria general manager Matt Denman says he supports the legislation.
“Tens of thousands of Victorians have repeatedly asked the Premier to support their right to choose Uber. Today they’ll be hearing from them again,” Denman tells StartupSmart.
“We’ll also be sending a message in the app to Victorian riders encouraging them to contact upper house MPs to support Fiona Patten’s Bill.
“The message for the government is clear. Victorians have spoken and the excuses have run out. Premier Andrews, people have waited long enough, it’s time to act.”
Uber took out a full-page ad in Friday’s Herald Sun saying the “excuses have run out” for the Victorian government.
An email has also been sent out to Victorian Uber users encouraging them to contact their local representatives.
“We are asking you to tell the leaders of all political parties that you want to be able to choose how you get around your city and let them know you support ridesharing in our state,” the email reads.
“If the government doesn’t support this legislation it must take some positive action of their own.
“Doing nothing isn’t an option.”
Regarding Patten’s ride-sharing bill, Victoria’s minister for public transport Jacinta Allan tells StartupSmart she can’t support a bill that hasn’t been seen by the government or any MPs.
Allan says the emergence of ride share services like Uber raise complex issues around passenger safety, accessibility and equity for the current industry that require sufficient deliberation.
“We’re putting passengers and Victorian’s first and giving this complex issue the careful consideration it deserves,” Allan says.