Greens slam taxi reforms

By 18 January, 2011 4

Yesterday Mr Stanhope announced reforms to Canberra’s much despised taxi system.

Today the Greens’ Amanda Bresnan has expressed her displeasure with the changes because they don’t do enough for taxi drivers or the disabled.

“We’ve seen this response to release more taxi licences before, and it has failed before. Taxi drivers are already struggling to earn a living and handing back licences,” Ms Bresnan said.

“The heart of the problem is the peak periods, particularly at the airport, and this response from Government does nothing to address this and puts forward a simplistic response.

“There is also the issue of Wheelchair Accessible Taxis (WATs) which have received a half-hearted response from the Government.

“Releasing 4 new WAT licences and tendering a booking service is not the same as setting up a stand alone non-profit community service for disabled transport.

“Again, the Government’s response has been tried and failed. Unless we change the situation where we have essential transport for people with a disability being run for a profit, then we are likely to see people who use wheel chairs being left waiting.

It would be nice to split wheelchair accessibility out from the general needs of the taxi using populace.

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4 Responses to Greens slam taxi reforms
#1
karmacarrier3:45 pm, 18 Jan 11

That’s the way to fix the disabled taxi service – put on more taxis.
Disabled taxis already get 90% of their income from non-disabled work.
They have to or they go broke.
Now they get to compete with 70 more taxis for the bit of the market that keeps them in business.
Disabled taxis make a mess when they fall off the perch.
Big mess coming soon.

#2
beh19728:31 pm, 18 Jan 11

I’m actually agreeing with a Green for the first time ever.

This has to be a community service, there is no way the outlay needed for the special vehicle modified with a lift – while charging an affordable price for work their limited passengers give, will ever make a profit and a good service. It’s like expecting ACTION to return a profit.

#3
karmacarrier8:54 pm, 18 Jan 11

beh1972 said :

I’m actually agreeing with a Green for the first time ever.

This has to be a community service, there is no way the outlay needed for the special vehicle modified with a lift – while charging an affordable price for work their limited passengers give, will ever make a profit and a good service. It’s like expecting ACTION to return a profit.

This looks like a reasonable approach.
But it doesn’t fit in with what the users of these taxis want.
They want to be able to travel when and where they choose.
Not an unreasonable expectation.
Encapsulated in the term ‘comparable access’.
Unfortunately it’s unlikely that a not-for-profit community service can achieve this.
So the responsibility defaults to the ‘for profit’ sector.
But only the responsibility to provide the service – not to also subsidise the real cost of travel.
The subsidy is a community service obligation rightly borne by the community through the machinery of Government.
The difficulty is finding the right mechanism that achieves a viable service provider and a safe and reliable service.
The taxi review outcome doesn’t do either.

#4
MrPC8:31 pm, 19 Jan 11

With the Deanes Airliner service having just been crippled (its patronage used to be mostly public servants from DEEWR and FWO travelling for free between Snowtown and Civic on the department’s dollar), all but a few dozen of whom now work in Civic as of last November/December, now might be time to reform the airport bus service and bring it under the ACTION umbrella.

ACTION’s newer buses are way easier to board with luggage than Deanes high floor crapheaps are. Heck, even the older ACTION buses have more luggage space than your typical Deanes bus. Not that people with significant amounts of luggage would use any bus.

Basically the justification for premium buses went out the door a decade or so ago when wheelchair accessible buses became mainstream.

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