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Canberra Cabs monopoly increases further

By jube - 5 August 2006 5

Aerial Consolidated Transport – otherwise known as Canberra Cabs – is taking its monopoly on privately owned public transport to another level.

In recent months, the parent company has been acquiring Hire Cars (as in chauffeured limousines, not rental cars) and Hire Car companies. There is competition in the hire car industry, with 2 large and 2 smaller companies in existence, plus 3 independent operators with 1 – 2 cars each. Aerial has already acquired Southern Cross Limousines some months ago, with 2 hire cars and 1 stretch limo. More recently (1 July) they acquired Canberra Hire Cars, with 9 hire cars in that fleet. To add to this, they are in the final stages of negotiation to acquire CBD Chauffeured Transport, ostensibly to obtain the bus side of the business to aid the flagging Elite SuperShuttle fleet and (lack of) workload they have, though it also means they will pick up the bulk of the hire car business in Canberra as well.

The end result is this – Aerial Consolidated Transport will have control and/or ownership of: every taxi in the ACT, all but approx 10 hire cars (out of about 32) in the ACT, and a large chunk of the 6 – 20 seater bus segment of the market – no wonder they are keeping very quiet about this.

What’s Your opinion?


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5 Responses to
Canberra Cabs monopoly increases further
VYBerlinaV8 10:15 am 07 Aug 06

My company doesn’t even bother calling taxis in Canberra any more. We are sick of having cabs that don’t turn up or are late. Our policy is simply to hire cars, or to drive each other.
Sorry Canberra Cabs, but you can lay this policy squarely at the feet of poor, unreliable service.

bonfire 9:53 am 07 Aug 06

I hope the ACCC are looking at this.

Big Al 10:34 pm 05 Aug 06

In reality I suppose that you can’t blame these small guys for selling out – it’s a pretty sound small business model. As a little guy you enter the market looking at the big fellas with a strategy that is at least in the small part based around pinching a slice of their market share – because it’s always going to be easier to get 5-8% off a competitor who’s got 70-80% of the market than it is to grow the overall market – when you get good at it you’re doing well, get really good at it and you’re doing really well and pissing them off. Your options then become taking them on head-to-head or letting them buy you out for a healthy return on investment and moving on. A lot of little guys just don’t have the bottle, or don’t want the grief of that comes with taking on the big players so the second option starts looking good, especially when its enough to pay off your mortgage and get you into a nice bit of real estate, a sweet investment portfolio or a nice retirement. It’s got to be better than waking up at sparrow’s fart to drive some smug prick to the air-port.

morto1980 9:29 pm 05 Aug 06

Nooooo not CBD Chaffeured Transport!!!

They’re about the only mob I want to use since they’re reasonably priced (I don’t really need the statesman/driver in a suit wankage) and have friendly drivers.

Last time I went to the airport I couldn’t get a lift with CBD so I called Canberra Cabs for a reservation. Does their booking robot (who sounds scarily like Hugh Grant) freak anyone else out?

Big Al 7:00 pm 05 Aug 06

We use Carwoola Chauffeured Limousines – fantastic service, turn up exactly when you wanted them, clean car, great driver, they take Cabcharge and the modest price premium is nothing when you consider that you don’t have to travel in some stinking, creaking shit-box with an illiterate driver, you don’t have to book through some fucked-up electronic system and they actually turn up.

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