Melbourne Taxi Strike Backfires Predictably

Uber drivers are taking our business so we’re going to respond by… giving them more business? Taxi drivers in Melbourne held an ill-considered strike today to protest ridesharing apps like Uber, hoping to spur the government into taking action on this issue. Uber responded brilliantly by offering free rides, which can be redeemed by new users across Australia with the cheeky promo code “KEEPOZMOVING”.

From Uber’s free ride offer:

Australia, there are a lot of loud voices out there, but we’re constantly overwhelmed by the #UberLOVE – thank you! Some people, however, will be hearing about Uber for the first time. With so much being said, they may be wondering what it’s all about. 
We believe the best judges of Uber are the people who have actually tried it, and we want to give everyone that has access to Uber that chance – for free!

It’s a smart move in response to a frankly baffling one on behalf of the taxi drivers of Victoria, which couldn’t have turned out better for Uber. The striking drivers hoped to motivate the government to regulate services like Uber and even the playing field of this rapidly changing industry, given that Uber drivers aren’t required to pay the exorbitant licence and registration fees that apply to taxis. Further boycotts and strikes have been threatened across the country, but today’s actions suggest that maybe it’s the taxi companies who need to think about changing to keep up with the times.

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