Uber driver filmed driving down footpath
AN UBER driver who was filmed driving on the footpath in Fortitude Valley has told The Courier-Mail he was taunted by multiple taxi drivers who blocked his car off the road.
Max Foley, 24, has been driving for the transportation network for three-and-a-half years, claiming most encounters with taxi drivers - especially in the Valley on the weekend - are often hostile and "personal."
Footage emerged on Sunday of the vehicle with the clear Uber sticker driving on the footpath on Warner Street, which Mr Foley knew was illegal but said he had no other option.
"I was picking up a passenger and I pulled into a private unit driveway," he said.
"On the street in front of that driveway there is a taxi bay, but at no point was I blocking taxis or even parked on the street.
"Four or five taxis proceeded to purposely park me in, they went and got in their cars and moved their cars to block me in."
Mr Foley said the drivers refused to move, getting out of their cars to have a cigarette before also banging on his car roof.
"I honestly cop that all the time," he said. "Uber driving in Fortitude Valley, I've had my car keyed, I've been reversed into, food thrown at me, I've sort of copped everything."
Mr Foley said he knew driving on the footpath was illegal, but claimed he had no other choice when the taxi drivers scoffed at him as he asked for them to move their cars.
"I've got a video of when I started to leave the situation, basically just saying to the passenger, "look we probably should get out of here, I understand this is illegal but I'm just going to drive down this footpath to get out of here", he said.
He claimed as soon as he began driving on the footpath, the taxi drivers took out their phones, which is allegedly where the footage has emerged from.
"I went straight to the police station afterwards and reported it… I've got all of the taxi driver's registration plates on my video," Mr Foley said
"And the police said what they actually did is a deprivation of liberty charge, because if I needed to leave in an emergency, they were not allowing me to."
Mr Foley said hostile encounters between Uber drivers and taxi drivers are common, but can't understand why it becomes so personal.
"I don't understand they do it on such a personal level, because a lot of them have also hopped across to Uber and a lot of them work both," he said.
"I can understand on sort of a company level, but on a personal level I don't understand it cause they're still a driver getting paid a wage."
The Courier-Mail reported last month that roads in Brisbane's CBD and inner-city were being choked by an explosion of Uber cars competing for space.
The RACQ warned the problem was set to get worse with more rideshare operators expected to enter the market.
Uber cars are banned from using taxi ranks, which means they are forced to circle streets as they wait for bookings from passengers.