Taxi drivers in Melbourne have blocked main thoroughfares through the city’s CBD as they protest the regulation of UberX.
Sydney drivers also protested the ride-sharing service outside New South Wales Parliament.
Brandishing signs and shouting, the protestors blocked Spring Street as they gathered outside Melbourne’s Parliament at 10am – the same time the city’s tram workers walked off the job.
It is the second tram strike in a fortnight of interrupted public transport chaos for commuters, as the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) and Yarra Trams butt-heads over pay negotiations.
Victorian Taxi Families have launched a campaign against UberX, questioning the legitimacy of the ride-sharing service and likening it to “hitch-hiking”.
“What we want is the government to uphold the laws of the state,” spokeswoman Sandy Spanos told The Age.
“If UberX wants to operate, let them work within the regulatory framework.”
She also said the protest would not block streets in the CBD.
Yarra Trams staff will strike for four hours from 10am (AEST) on Thursday, with services expected to be interrupted until 2.30pm.
Services were disrupted from 9.00am as trams started to return to depots.
Trams on some routes were replaced with other services, running through the CBD and along St Kilda Road and servicing major hospitals and universities.
The company and the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) failed to make a breakthrough in last-minute talks aimed at averting the strike and resolving their lengthy pay dispute.
— Kaitlin Thals (@KaitlinThals) September 10, 2015