NEWS Chaos for Passengers as Taxi Drivers Protest at Australian Airport

ABC News Australia

Passengers arriving at Adelaide Airport August 11 were left confused after a hastily planned taxi driver strike. Approximately 100 Taxi drivers went on strike protesting over Adelaide Airport’s announcement the previous day that they would allow UberX pick-ups from the airport immediately. Taxi drivers blockaded the ride-sharing area designated for UberX pickups. At one stage Airport Management threatened to call in the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to end the blockade.

The South Australian Minister for Transport, Stephan Mullighan, had previously assured taxi drivers that UberX wouldn’t operate from the airport. Minister Mulligan said the decision was not one the government knew about before the announcement, and came as a complete surprise.

Uber decided to suspend services to ensure safety of drivers and passengers. They will liase with the airport, airport security and the AFP. Services won’t restart until the safety of drivers can be guaranteed.

The protest ended early in the afternoon after successful negotiations. It was agreed that the South Australian Department of Planning, Transport, and Infrastructure (DPTI) would place an inspector at the airport during peak times to check the accreditation of UberX drivers, and Uber signs would be covered up and taken down at a later time. Taxi drivers have also not ruled out further protests next week depending on the results of a meeting with DPTI officials next Thursday.

Adelaide Metro put on free bus services from the airport to Adelaide’s CBD to assist passengers leaving the airport.

UberX is already available at Sydney, Melbourne, Avalon, Brisbane and Perth airports.

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