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Looking at the taxis again

By johnboy - 3 August 2009 26

Chief Stanhope is announcing yet another review of the taxi industry.

    Commencing in August 2009, the review will include an assessment of the supply of standard and wheelchair accessible taxi (WAT) licences; fare structures; and the level of industry regulation.

    “Canberrans and visitors to our city deserve to have reasonable access to taxi services that meet their needs,” Mr Stanhope said. “This review will consider the difficulties faced by some operators and suggest a way forward to improve taxi services in the ACT.”

The main focus of the media release is on wheelchair accessible taxi (WAT) licences.

Maybe we need to examine whether asking the private taxi industry to provided transport access to the disabled is actually a smart thing to do.

Or should it be run as a government service?

Disabled transport

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UPDATED: The Greens’ Amanda Bresnan is congratulating herself apparently the “action” of holding another review is the electric response of a Government with a green blowtorch to its belly.

What’s Your opinion?


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26 Responses to
Looking at the taxis again
1
Clown Killer 10:37 am
03 Aug 09
#

Canberra taxis. Ridiculously expensive, unreliable, poorly trained. Unless the Government can guarantee that it will do something to address those issues this inquiry is just another waste of time.

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2
YouWhat 10:40 am
03 Aug 09
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Going back a good few years, I worked on a project with a severely disabled wheelchair-bound lady who regularly had to wait in excess of two or three hours for a WAT to show up. There were only two in service for the whole of Canberra, and strangely enough, there would be significant delays, even though booked well in advance. The impact on this lady’s life was to make a bad situation worse; she simply couldn’t commit to being anywhere on time and wasted hours of her life waiting for transport. If the situation is anything like that today, then yep, I’m all in favour of a dedicated Govt service.

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3
caf 10:47 am
03 Aug 09
#

The taxi industry ought to be able to provide the service more efficiently, since they can use the WATs as regular taxis when they’re not needed as a WAT. Government cars (and their drivers) woul

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4
caf 10:47 am
03 Aug 09
#

The taxi industry ought to be able to provide the service more efficiently, since they can use the WATs as regular taxis when they’re not needed as a WAT. Government cars (and their drivers) would likely be sitting around idle a lot of the time.

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5
peterh 11:02 am
03 Aug 09
#

Clown Killer said :

Canberra taxis. Ridiculously expensive, unreliable, poorly trained. Unless the Government can guarantee that it will do something to address those issues this inquiry is just another waste of time.

this is exactly the reason why I stopped driving multis.

Watch a driver try to make a wheelchair bound client comfortable whilst their carer tells them that they are “doing it wrong” or “what took you?”, when the last fare was completely the other side of canberra, you start to wonder why the hell you are driving multis.

We did it then to help others. It isn’t a great job, it pays the bills, but you were helping someone get out and about. And the gratitude from some of the clients made it all worthwhile.

The other side of the coin were the people who made it a hard task to help, who expected you to be there for them, who refused to assist, and made each time you took their person in care an absolute nightmare.
It isn’t an easy job with the ramps, the gas lifts are better.

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6
Granny 11:41 am
03 Aug 09
#

I agree with caf. Per the DDA a person with a disability has as much right as anybody else to be able to access a service used by the rest of the public.

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7
Clown Killer 11:45 am
03 Aug 09
#

I wasn’t having a go at the WAT guys – I have no experience of that. It’s the regular cabs that sh!t me to tears. More than twice the cost over the same distance than other cities, turning up on time for a booking is a pleasant surprise rather than the norm and having no idea how to get to your destination.

If I can, I book a limo service now rather than use a cab, for the extra bucks you get a driver that turns up when required (and waits patiently if you’re not quite ready), in a clean car, and takes you where you want to go.

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8
Wraith 11:46 am
03 Aug 09
#

Competition, but that won’t happen here

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9
VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 12:11 pm
03 Aug 09
#

Same old problems: too expensive, unreliable.

Competition is part of the answer, but when the base costs (taxi plate lease and car costs) are high, there’s probably not a lot of cream in it anyway.

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10
AG Canberra 12:52 pm
03 Aug 09
#

Proper regulation is what’s required.

When there are half a dozen assistance jobs on the screens at the despatch office – and the mulit’s are sitting at the airport rank is when the whole system breaks down.

They already get their plates subsidised – every time they do ‘normal’ work when there are assistance bookings in they should be fined – and fined heavily.

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11
peterh 1:01 pm
03 Aug 09
#

AG Canberra said :

Proper regulation is what’s required.

When there are half a dozen assistance jobs on the screens at the despatch office – and the mulit’s are sitting at the airport rank is when the whole system breaks down.

They already get their plates subsidised – every time they do ‘normal’ work when there are assistance bookings in they should be fined – and fined heavily.

Agreed. i never worked the ranks, I was too busy with the assistance jobs. and they were all over canberra. What the taxi industry needs is better defined competition, not the purchase of brands from outside of canberra by aerial, but actual companies, with bases, and fleets. cab express or aerial. we need more choices.

technology updates wouldn’t go astray either – using gps and location based computer systems would make it much easier to pull a car off rank and to a job…

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12
basketcase 3:17 pm
03 Aug 09
#

The government should run it for a few years, get the costings, then send back to private enterprise with a subsidy based on their experience.

At the moment they want people to work for peanuts. They get what they pay for.

They will never do it, it would cost a fortune.

Better for the government to have an organization they can harass and get brownie points at the same time.

Shortage of doctors too, wonder when the government will start on them ha ha.

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13
caf 4:19 pm
03 Aug 09
#

Empirically it doesn’t look like taxis here are overpriced, since we don’t see anyone making windfall profits from running taxis.

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14
AG Canberra 4:36 pm
03 Aug 09
#

caf – operators are still selling their plates for 250k. Not that many small businesses sell for that type of money. And most owners have multiple plates so are able to do deals with servicing and repairs etc.

The drivers earn minimum wage for 40 hours work. There is money to be made but only by the operators, the owners and Cabcharge. The people that actually do the work are the ones that earn the least.

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15
Devil_n_Disquiz 8:28 pm
03 Aug 09
#

Cabs are expensive. I agree. Thats why you should buy a bike or a good set of Nikes.

But looking at other cab companies fare structures, based on a 10k trip, this is what you could expect to pay (taking into accounts different rates, radio hiring fees that some companies have and other incidentals)

CANBERRA: $21.90 – $24.50
QLD: $22.80 – $26.10
WA: $18.30 – $21.90
Sydney: $24.60 – 28.40

Thats based on no stopping or traffic. I suspect in Canberra you would pay less for your 10k’s than you would in Sydney or Brisbane.

As for the poorly trained part…I AGREE. I mean..you would think a Canberra Cabbie would know where the Hyatt is. Not the driver that took some folks from the airport 2 nights ago, who were in my cab today. I have been asked by other driver to direct them to Kaleen, West Row, Forrest Motor Inn, etc etc. What exactly do they teach them at Taxi school ??

But it would appear Canberra Taxis are for the most part on a equal footing in fares with the rest of the country.

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