Uber launches in Australia

Canberra, Oct 30 (IANS) Controversial ride sharing app Uber has officially launched Uber X services in Canberra on Friday after the nation’s capital became the first Australian city to regulate ride sharing.

On Thursday, Australian passed a legislation allowing ride sharing services, such as Uber to operate within the territory’s borders.

Uber Australia’s general manager David Rohrsheim told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Friday that he expects it to be popular right away, and asked those keen to use the app to be patient as it rolls out, Xinhua reported.

“We do urge people to be patient. On day one I doubt we’ll have enough cars on the platform to keep everyone happy. But we welcome people to give it a go,” he said.

Rohrsheim said the legislation passed by the government made a number of background checks compulsory before drivers are approved to start working for Uber, something which the company already does.

“The government put in place regulations around background checks, vehicle inspections and insurance, all of which we’ve had from day one,” he said.

He applauded the government’s forward-thinking and said embracing new technology will only be a positive for consumers.

“What the chief minister has done here is actually taken a look at opportunities, not just to open up to new things like ride sharing… but also how can they improve options for the taxi industry,” Rohrsheim said.

Uber was launched in 2009 and currently operates in 60 countries around the world.

The state of Victoria is expected to follow Canberra’s lead in allowing Uber to operate legally, following expected changes to legislation and regulations.

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