The Australian taxi market is expected to project a CAGR of 9.61% during the forecast period, 2020-2025.
- Taxis play a major role in the Australian transportation network. The demand for taxis is consistently increasing in the country, owing to the numerous benefits that they offer, such as booking convenience, multiple payment options, 24x7 customer support, GPS-enabled vehicles, and electronic fare meters. Apart from the aforementioned benefits, shared transportation is also growing, due to the cost benefits that it offers to the customers.
- Some of the major factors driving the growth of the market are the increasing demand for ride sharing, the rise in online taxi booking applications, and the entry of new ride-sharing platforms in the country. However, reliability issues and the abolishment of taxi licenses and levies on rides (hurting taxi license holders) may hinder the growth of the market.
- The taxi industry in Australia is almost consolidated, and it is regulated. The ride-sharing business model has outpaced the traditional local taxi industry. Regulatory restrictions, like fixed fare rates, high insurance costs due to vehicle classification, and significant license plate costs, are some of the deciding factors in the industry.
Key Market Trends
Internet Method of Request is Expected to Witness the Fastest Growth
Internet-based taxi services account for the highest market share, owing to the increasing penetration of internet usage. It was estimated that, by the end of 2019, more than 88% of the total population in Australia had access to the internet.
Uber, DiDi, Ola, GoCatch, and Bolt are the most commonly used taxi applications in the country.
- In July 2019, Uber, for its customers in Perth, launched the UberPool Program, a new service that helps customers share their rides and split the cost. Perth became the third city in Australia, after Sydney and Melbourne, where UberPool was introduced as an additional feature to the Uber app, which pairs up riders traveling in a similar direction. Customers can share the same car. UberPool started as a six-month trial, by the end of July. It helps customers save up to 55% on their fare.
A survey conducted in major Australian cities identified that most people traveling to work preferred to use a ride sharing platform, if they could travel to the nearest transport hub at a capped cost of AUD 5.
The Chinese company, DiDi, entered the Australian market during November 2019. DiDi commenced its ride sharing services in Perth, Western Australia. DiDi became the third major player to enter the West Australian ride share market, alongside Uber and Ola.
In addition to the aforementioned market activities, the country is expected to witness the development of new ride sharing platforms over the forecast period, which is driving the internet segment of the market studied.
New South Wales represents the largest market for taxi services in the country. The increasing demand for taxi services is contributed by factors, such as increasing tourists, increasing demand for ride sharing services, and the rise in online taxi booking applications.
By April 2020, there were a total of 6,992 taxi licenses issued in NSW with 2,277 authorized service providers, out of which 5,572 licenses were issued in Sydney alone.
Although there has been a surge in taxi bookings until the end of 2019, during 2020, the taxi industry in New South Wales fell by nearly 80%. This is due to the outbreak of COVID-19, and several daily ride sharing commuters have started working from home, thereby, bookings have significantly decreased.
The average fare costs had fallen to USD 19 from USD 25, while 30% of the network was no longer in operation as drivers had taken their vehicles off the road. In addition to this, there has been panic among the customers as one in three drivers in Sydney are tested positive, according to the Australian Taxi Drivers Association.
Taxi service providing companies in NSW, such as 13Cabs, to help their customers from the ongoing pandemic have started online delivery of groceries from supermarkets. The service is available seven days a week and operates in Maitland, Swansea, Toronto, and Rutherford in New South Wales' Hunter, and Lake Macquarie regions.
However, the demand for taxi services is expected to stabilize post the end of COVID-19. It is also expected that new taxi operating systems are expected to launch in New South Wales.
The market studied is highly fragmented due to the presence of many regional and international players. However, the market is dominated by some of the major players, such as Uber, Ola, Didi, and A2B account for a significant market share of about 70% of the market studied in 2019.
Uber ranked the top position in the market studied with nearly 63,000 drivers registered in its business across the country.
With entry of Ola in Australia in 2018, the company currently operates its over 20 cities across the country.
- A2B has undertaken a large modernization program and invested in new technology and a rebranding to give 13cabs a more contemporary look and feel in the battle against ride-sharing firms such as Uber, Didi and Ola.
- A2B has also urged taxi owners to retire old vehicles from the roads underage restrictions that began in January, 2019.
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