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What’s happening with Uber at Melbourne Airport?

Taxis protesting UberX have drastically impacted travel plans.

By Kate Wagner
What’s happening with the taxis at Melbourne Airport?

Those flying out of Melbourne Airport today are encouraged to arrive early for their flights with taxis blocking the entrance and exit to the airport while protesting ride-sharing service Uber.

What’s happening with Uber in Melbourne?

Melbourne Airport recently legalised Uber and created an UberX rank, which means, from today, passengers can book the service and be picked up from the designated space.

“This announcement is really exciting as we know Uber is a desirable transport option for many of our travellers,” chief of parking and ground transportation Lorie Argus said.

“Through expanding our transport offering we’re giving our travellers more choice and flexibility.”

What are the taxis doing at Melbourne Airport?

In reaction to the legalisation, taxi drivers have blockaded Melbourne Airport’s main forecourt in an attempt to block the ride-sharing service from picking anyone up.

The protest started last night and is expected to pick back up again this morning.

The protest is believed to have been spontaneous and Melbourne Airport offered free SkyBus rides for those headed to the city.

“We’re deeply appreciative of the great work SkyBus is doing to help with this situation,” the airport said.

What about passengers?

Passengers complained bitterly about the protest which left many stranded and unable to exit.

Many accused taxis of pushing them into the arms of Uber, forcing their hand to use the alternative.

Uber was given the green light to operate in Victoria in August last year but the state had been working out the kinks in terms of how they would compensate taxis.

Victoria will impose a $1 levy on all commercial Uber trips to replace taxi licence fees and will buy back licences from taxi drivers who want to leave the industry.

Drivers will receive $100,000 for the first licence they sacrifice and $50,000 for up to three subsequent ones.