The Impact of Ride Sharing Services on Melbourne, and Australian taxi industry

The Impact of Ride Sharing Services on Melbourne, and Australian taxi industry

Like in many other cities around the world where Uber and other ride-sharing companies have gained a foothold, the Australian taxi industry is completely shaken at its roots, and a serious threat of extinction is starting on the face of all those who enjoyed the government aided monopoly that the industry enjoyed.

The taxi industry in Melbourne and other parts of Australia can be compared to some of the well-known print publications of yesteryears that have either perished or are on the death-bed because they failed to align with the times and appreciate that changes would be inevitable. The changes when they arrived were too sophisticated, and the digital world provided solutions that the customers gave a huge thumbs up, to the huge detriment of the taxi industry that hitherto enjoyed a monopoly or near monopoly with the customers left in the lurch.

The print publications have an intrinsic physical value that can save it from extinction, but there appears to be nothing that can come to the aid of the taxi as well as its driver. The virtual disappearance of the traditional cab might still be a few years away in Australia and elsewhere. But, what is important is that the writing on the wall is pretty clear. The heydays for the industry are gone – gone forever.

From a consumer’s perspective, he has started enjoying not only better cabs, on-time reporting, and hassle-free trips, but also lower spending and this experience of spending less for a service that is significantly better have become life-changing.

Mr Ashish, the proud owner of Melbourne’s popular taxi company, Taxi Maxi, says “The lower prices presently offered by ride-sharing companies like Uber may not last for ages, and many see that as a marketing strategy which these companies can afford. The future may present a situation where these services virtually get into the driver’s seat and dictate their terms. But, for now, they are admired and patronised in a big way.“

The experience is what counts and traditional taxis can hardly ever match that. The taxi industry has itself to blame for the sharp shift in customer preferences. Customers have been treated unfairly for decades, and now the tables have turned. There are even instances of some cab companies charging as much as 10% under the guise of processing fee when credit cards are used for payment. Apparently, this was merely a ploy to get that extra pound of flesh from the customer. Pitted against this, the likes of Uber is offering convenience and seamlessness, and both these factors appeal in great measure for the customers.

With the ride-share services, the customer is more at ease because the cabs arrive on time, the cabs are clean, there is always an English speaking driver behind the wheels, and he is good at his job, driving people around. What more should we expect? Often, the customer also ends up paying less than what he would have paid a traditional taxi.

Traditional taxi services are up in arms against ride-sharing companies like Uber, in nearly every city that they are operating. But in spite of that, the service is growing in popularity, and in some cities, competition is giving market leaders like Uber plenty of sleepless nights in terms of market share.

Another potential problem that the Australian taxi industry could face in the short run is a shortage of qualified drivers. Many cities where Uber and similar services operate are already experiencing this trend. Uber drivers are also reported to be a happier lot with the working conditions as well as the money they make.

Tuning into customer expectations can possibly help

While it is true that the taxi industry is suddenly caught in the whirlwind of uncertainty, tuning into customer expectations can be the singular means of clawing back into the business. The Victorian government cannot wholly undo the impact of the ride-share companies for a variety of reasons. Some steps underway can bring a certain degree of relief to the taxi owners and license holders. However, at the end of the day, if customers stop patronising this service wholly or partly, the government cannot be faulted, and the government is unlikely to bring back status quo because such a measure can potentially invite public wrath.

Some measures are already under way

Ride-sharing services are already regulated in the ACT jurisdiction, perhaps making a beginning for the rest of the country. Admittedly, these measures may only be meeting the expectations of the Taxi Industry halfway. But, the Australian government is not alone in finding ways to stop the ride-sharing services altogether. In nearly every other country where these ride-sharing companies, traditional taxi industry has been up in arms against the service. That notwithstanding, the services have been growing in popularity at a rapid pace.

Only city where China exited the business in favour of a merger

China has possibly been the singular exception with Uber having merged its entity with Didi Chuxing, which is the Chinese equivalent of Uber. Interestingly, Beijing was also the 100th city where Uber had opened its services and was the fastest growing cities around the world in mid-2016. But then, that merger did not translate to a defeat for Uber and the contrary, and Uber is walking free with riches in its pocket.

Conclusion

Although it is pretty difficult, the Australian taxi industry must come to terms with hard realities. As in other cities around the world, ride-share companies will continue to grow and impact future prospects of the traditional taxi industry. The License plate regimen will gradually ease out of the system

dj with equipment

Best DJ road cases & coffins to keep your DJ gear protected

Most DJs spend a mini fortune on DJ equipment and leaving them unprotected can potentially impact your DJ career itself if you are aiming to become a professional DJ. Even amateurs are bound to moan the loss or damage to their gear. This article, therefore, explores different means of securing your DJ gear and measures that you can take to protect them when you are doing an outdoor gig.

Hard cases / Flight case

Hard cases like Magma hard case Dj Coffin, are essentially heavy and bulky, but they afford the maximum protection for your controller when you are transporting it from one point to the other, loading it onto trucks or being handled by airport luggage handlers. These hard cases have metal edges and reinforcement and big chunky clasps to hold them tight as also heavy duty foam padding. The padding is also shaped internally so that the device for which the box is sold sits tightly and has essentially been reckoned as the best for protecting your DJ gear. The Denon DJ MCX8000 and Magma DJ Controller Hard case are examples of this type of hard cases.

When you examine these cases, you will notice that they are designed in a way to accommodate all your adaptors and cables along with the DJ controller. You also have easy access to all output and input as well as back and front controls because of space around the unit and the front panel which is removable, that enables the controller to remain within the case when you are performing. For touring or mobile DJs who are keen on adding that extra professional looks to how they present the DJ gear, this case looks pretty good, though the opposite can be true if your DJ booth is pretty tight. As for the downsides, these are bulky, heavy and somewhat expensive and harder to store away when not in use. You will also notice that most of these negatives are absent in the next type of solution we examine.

Soft cases

Some Dj Equipment suppliers like JD’S Sound offers special soft cases and zippered cases, which are significantly lighter compared to flight cases and offer adequate protection to your DJ controller while in transport. However, loading it in the cargo hold of an airplane may not be a great idea though even there are legislation and standard for air cargo security. Most DJs want anything better than this to keep their DJ gear protected. This is the minimalist semi-soft case that fits tight with a zip along the edges, a shoulder strap and handles enabling carrying with both hands. But, this is substantially less substantial compared to the hard case and the protection offered is also less since anything hard dropped on the case can potentially damage your DJ gear. Another factor to consider is that you will need to pull out your DJ gear when you are performing and put it back at the end. The soft cases do not have room to keep anything other than the controller through some trolley and backpack version often do have this provision. Thus, the soft cases are ideal only as a transport solution.

The soft case solution


Zippered cases such as the Magma CTRL Case are quite lighter than flight cases and, during transport, it can offer ample protection of your controller. Don’t load it in the cargo hold of an aeroplane, though. However, this is good enough for occasional use and essentially better than having no case at all particularly when you know that the DJ booth at the venue is pretty tight and the controller needs to be pulled out when you arrive. The popularity of this option is also influenced by the lower price compared to professional style cases.
Away from choosing the right type of cases or coffins for your DJ gear, there are other measures which you cannot sidestep if you care for your DJ equipment. These include:

    • Your DJ booth
      When you are planning to perform in a new venue or one where the DJ booth is newly set up, it is essential that you have a good understanding of the booth, how certain lighting and gear styles are going to match the particular blighting and gear stylesooth etc. Visiting the site in advance and making sure that everything fits your needs will be a great idea.
    • Keeping your gear elevated
    • Wherever feasible try and keep your gear at an elevated level of the booth table. This gives easy access to all the DJ controllers and your kit itself stays away from potential drink spillages and other hazards. You can buy controller and laptop stands that are also pretty easy to transport.
    • Keeping your booth secure
      Never hesitate when it comes to who and what can have access to your booth when you are in charge. Striking a cordial note with the club security where available will be a helpful measure in this direction. They can keep potential trouble mongers away and even use a bit of authority when needed. Insurance are also necessary in some cases.
    • Pack down list
      Before and after your performance, there is plenty of unpacking and packing to do. At the end of the performance, you are more likely to be drained out and that could lead to leaving behind some of the important accessories for your gear. Think of having to travel a few hundred miles to collect them back or worse still, you don’t find them when you need it the most next evening. The better way to address this situation is to have a pack down list and have at least two people ensure that everything is back in place for you to leave.

Now it’s time to move!