The government's been rather insistent that Uber drivers have P-endorsements - a process adding substantial costs for Uber drivers and making it pretty unlikely that folks would sign up for the occasional shift. The government says it's needed to keep customers safe - that Uber's end-to-end GPS tracking of driver and passenger, and Uber's own checks on drivers, aren't enough.
Turns out three of Christchurch's biggest taxi companies might have been rorting an Environment Canterbury / NZTA mobility scheme which gives half-price fares for limited-mobility passengers. The P-endorsed drivers have allegedly been running phantom trips, charging the government for trips not taken.
He said changes had been made to the system to ensure it would not happen again.If only there were some company out there that did end-to-end GPS monitoring and billed automatically on trip completion. Couldn't trust them though. Their drivers might not have a P-endorsement.
All trips were now matched with GPS data before drivers were paid, and both scheme providers and users would be made aware of the correct procedures to follow, Bayfield said.
And it's these P-endorsed incumbents that the government's trying to protect by cracking down on Uber.
My Insights column last week was on point.