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Long Awaited improvements to taxi services

By johnboy - 17 January 2011 19

Taxi!

Chief Minister Stanhope has announced the change we’ve been waiting for in Canberra’s taxi fleet.

The key measures are:

    — the release of at least 25 new standard taxi plates and four new wheelchair taxi plates in 2011;
    — annual increases in taxi licence numbers to ensure that taxi supply meets demand;
    — the introduction of a centralised booking service for wheelchair-accessible taxis to improve reliability and service quality;
    — improving taxi driver training standards; and
    — enhancing compliance activity to ensure high standards of service to taxi users.

Mr Stanhope added, “I understand there may not be unanimous support for some of the recommendations coming out of the review.

“However, I look forward to continuing to work with the industry and taxi user groups to implement the review outcomes as effectively as possible. It is in the interests of all parties that we have an efficient, reliable and viable taxi industry and work collaboratively to achieve that.”

Is there anything he’s missed?

UPDATE: The source documents are available now:

The PWC report.
The TAMS report.
The ACT Government responses to the reports.

What’s Your opinion?


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19 Responses to
Long Awaited improvements to taxi services
1
eyeLikeCarrots 4:44 pm
17 Jan 11
#

Dear Mr Stanhope and Taxi Drivers of the ACT,

On the rare occasion that I go out, I would much rather not drink, enabling me to drive home safetly.

On the rare occasion that I go out and do drink, I really have no practical option (other than walking) than to subject myself to a ride in one of your vehicles, featuring the following:

1) Drivers who spend the trip bitching about low patronage and how more plates will lower thier incomes even further.
2) Drivers who bitch about high patronage (yep…. catch22 really) and having to be cab drivers becuase years ago they were doctors or engineers.
3) Drivers with poor knowledge of our streets (And I’m talking Civic to Yarralumla)
4) Drivers with poor knowledge of our road rules (like which side of the road to use or what the red and white sign with STOP means.. I’m really not kidding, I’ve had more taxi car seat covers disappear up my arse than I care to recall).
5) Drivers with absolutley no knowledge of defensive driving techniques (A finger and verbal abuse spraying khat and cola at the windscreen becuase the car that your were tailgating slowed down to turn a corner, is not defensive driving).
6) Drivers who appear to be playing Pac Man on the little computer booking thing – rather than pay some sort of attention to the road.
7) Drivers who are currently off thier heads on Khat (As your Somali friends about that one) and cola to escape the bitterness in thier mouths cause by massice Khat consumption.
8. Drivers more concerned in having an animated arguement (Sorry to say that I don’t understand the various languages but I’m sure its very entertaining) with the person on the other end of the mobile phone, than offering other motorists any sort of consideration for thier lawful road use.

Do you think there is much we can do about these problems ?

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2
Hercsie 8:46 am
18 Jan 11
#

+1 eyeLikeCarrots

along with the acrid smell of body odour – especially when it is + 30 degrees and the driver refuses to turn on the airconditioning

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3
Snarky 9:27 am
18 Jan 11
#

[shrug] Taxis are going stay pretty much the way they are until taxi driving pays well enough to attract a better educated, better motivated class of driver. There’s already a shortage of drivers – issuing new plates isn’t going to help.

[disclosure – been there, driven that]

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4
AG Canberra 10:58 am
18 Jan 11
#

Given a set of plates still costs upwards of 200K, it will be interesting to see if anyone actually decides to take up the offer of a new set. The industry keeps saying how there is no money in the industry and how tough they are doing it – if that is the case then none of these will be sold….

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5
karmacarrier 3:41 pm
18 Jan 11
#

Let’s put some myths to rest.
1. Not all taxi drivers come from Somalia, have bad hygeine, can’t drive or don’t know their way around. Good story but lacks honesty.
2. Taxi plates are no longer sold by Government. They’re leased out at $20,000 per year. Read the PWC report.

Also read the report’s findings about current driver and taxi operator incomes.
You get what you pay for.
At the moment the public gets a raw deal.
Because cab drivers and cab operators get a raw deal.
Fix the problem by lifting the cap on fares.
That way the incomes will match the market pressure caused by more cabs.
Simple – but politically unpalatable.
Short, medium and long term prognosis – further deteriorating taxi service.
Looking forward to the next review.
Could get even more cabs.
Round and round we go in an inward spiral.

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6
buzz819 5:14 pm
18 Jan 11
#

karmacarrier said :

Let’s put some myths to rest.
1. Not all taxi drivers come from Somalia, have bad hygeine, can’t drive or don’t know their way around. Good story but lacks honesty.
2. Taxi plates are no longer sold by Government. They’re leased out at $20,000 per year. Read the PWC report.

Also read the report’s findings about current driver and taxi operator incomes.
You get what you pay for.
At the moment the public gets a raw deal.
Because cab drivers and cab operators get a raw deal.
Fix the problem by lifting the cap on fares.
That way the incomes will match the market pressure caused by more cabs.
Simple – but politically unpalatable.
Short, medium and long term prognosis – further deteriorating taxi service.
Looking forward to the next review.
Could get even more cabs.
Round and round we go in an inward spiral.

Lift the cap on fares? They are already to damn expensive! I mean $50 from Mawson to Wanniassa??? $80 from City to Gordon, $50 from City to Belconnen.

How would making the fares more expensive help? There needs to be more competition so that people can afford to use them. The fares are about $30 to expensive. You can hire a Limo at $60 an hour, that would be cheaper then catching a Taxi.

It is public transport, the public should be able to afford it.

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7
Waiting For Godot 5:19 pm
18 Jan 11
#

Has anybody seen that grossly obese driver who can barely fit into the cab? That turned me off taxis forever.

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8
cranky 6:54 pm
18 Jan 11
#

Something is seriously wrong here.

We have drivers describing earning $100 for a 12 hour shift, and fares charged approaching daylight robbery ($50 City to Belconnen).

Just who is making the money? Are we like the utterly corrupt NSW cab industry, who charge 10% on every credit card transaction?

Drivers are well described in above posts. Not endearing creatures, and indicative of low income earners. Don’t think they are exaggerating their poverty. Perhaps the owners would like to add their opinion to the debate? Maybe Canberra Cabs would like to open the books showing how they are existing on a miniscule income?

Massive income and no winners?

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9
karmacarrier 6:56 pm
18 Jan 11
#

Waiting For Godot said :

Has anybody seen that grossly obese driver who can barely fit into the cab? That turned me off taxis forever.

Wow – is that Stanhope’s stragedy (real word – don’t spellcheck it)?
More taxis, lower incomes, skinnier taxi drivers.
How clever.

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10
jase! 7:26 pm
18 Jan 11
#

after watching a bit of Win news i have finally managed to get to the keyboard after laughing like a loon.

what caused this much mirth? the goatee’d taxi spokesman comparing waiting in a waiting room for a doctor to waiting for a cab and if we are prepared to wait for one then we should have no problem waiting for the other.

nothing like treating your customers with contempt, it isn’t that acceptable to wait for a tardy doctor but having to wait the best part of an hour for a cab at the airport is ridiculous

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11
karmacarrier 7:27 pm
18 Jan 11
#

karmacarrier said :

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12
karmacarrier 8:21 pm
18 Jan 11
#

cranky said :

Something is seriously wrong here.

We have drivers describing earning $100 for a 12 hour shift, and fares charged approaching daylight robbery ($50 City to Belconnen).

Just who is making the money? Are we like the utterly corrupt NSW cab industry, who charge 10% on every credit card transaction?

Drivers are well described in above posts. Not endearing creatures, and indicative of low income earners. Don’t think they are exaggerating their poverty. Perhaps the owners would like to add their opinion to the debate? Maybe Canberra Cabs would like to open the books showing how they are existing on a miniscule income?

Massive income and no winners?

Let’s put another myth to rest.
Canberra Cabs don’t own or operate any taxis.
They are ‘middle men’.
They charge each affiliated taxi nearly $20,000 per year to connect them with prospective customers.
Through their grossly inadequate and unreliable booking and despatch systems.
Presently 300 cabs paying $20,000 each – total $6million per year.
They’re not doing it too tough – in fact they’re not doing much at all.
But that’s $20,000 each taxi has to find before getting into the black.
Read the PWC report.
Why do the taxis pay?
Because they can’t legally operate unless they are affiliated with a network.
Might be described as extortion in some other places.
Who’s getting fat while the taxi drivers get skinny?
Funny how taxis are legally required to belong to a network but Limos aren’t.
Work that one out.

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13
buzz819 9:01 pm
18 Jan 11
#

karmacarrier said :

buzz819 said :

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14
karmacarrier 9:21 pm
18 Jan 11
#

buzz819 said :

karmacarrier said :

karmacarrier said :

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15
our-interface 9:53 pm
18 Jan 11
#

I despise the ACT taxi service.

I had to alert the police following a ride home in which the taxi driver tried to grab me and assault me sexually ( I am a young female). I managed to get away, but ever since I have been wary of taxi drivers. In my hometown there was a big uproar following a taxi driver being stabbed and there was a big call for increased security. I think there should be increased security in Canberra cabs for both drivers and patrons. I understand how hard it is to police these type of things though, but it makes me pretty sad to think that what happened to me could happen to anyone else ( especially someone who is weaker than me, which isn’t hard).

And I agree with everyone else, it’s bloody expensive to catch a cab in the ACT.

I doubt there’s much anyone can really do about the taxi system in Canberra.

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