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.