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Canberra Taxis

By cranky - 23 February 2008 38

The ABC Stateline program has tonight highlighted the paucity of cabs at the airport, particularly mornings.

Scenes of queues 200 people long, and travellers pretty cross at the lack of cabs. One interviewee reckoned he will take his business to Newcastle next time.

The arogant inebriate reckons another heap of cab licenses will do the trick, the industry reckon there are not enough drivers, and the congestion is also to blame.

Fares are high. Service is appalling. Where does the blame lie?

What’s Your opinion?


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38 Responses to
Canberra Taxis
utah 11:32 am 24 Feb 08

The problem is the extra traffic caused by the office park, yes? So block both roundabouts that lead in to the airport on the ACT Govt side of the property line, plus the road out to Brand Depot, then set up a regularly-service ACTION bus stop and taxi rank out in front of the airport. Maybe a multi-storey car park outside the airport as well?

ant 11:10 am 24 Feb 08

The horrific traffic jams around the airport at morning and afternoon peak times was created by Snow (who owns the airport) building a CBD out there when there was no road infrastructure to support it.

The gridlock is getting worse and worse on that road, especially as cars queue across the roundabouts and stop traffic flowing in any direction.

Before Snow built his CBD, that road used to flow, even at peak times. I can see why taxis won’t go there, it would take forever to get out there.

They need to at least introduce buses to Civic for the peak flight arrival times, so the people are at least on soemthing going somewhere, not queued along the footpath waiting for a taxi.

Snow could have built internal access roads on HIS airport property to syphon off traffic heading to the airport and the business park, but he chose not to. Wasn’t lucrative enough, perhaps. So the taxpayer is held to ransom to pay for the road duplication, which isn’t going to fix the problem.

sepi 10:08 am 24 Feb 08

A major issue with the booking system is pre-booked cabs – eg for the airport for an OS flight.

Even if you book a week in advance, they only release your details to teh cabs with 15 minutes to go to your pick-up time, and it is up to the cabs to choose to come get you or not.

They need a ‘pre-booking’ service – even if you have to pay an extra fee to actually guarantee a cab when you really need one.

KarlG 7:45 am 24 Feb 08

Barney, I agree with you 100%. The BBP and brand depot have between them added enough traffic to the already bad roads to tip the balance to the chaotic situation we have now.
And for the automated booking system – vote by taking your business elsewhere, call Cabxpress 62606011 – while they have some of their own shortcomings, they at least have humans answering the phone – a novel concept in Canberra!

barney 8:14 pm 23 Feb 08

As a user of taxis, I would like to remind Canberra Cabs that their automated booking system is still in use, and is still as pathetic and frustrating as it ever was.

In regard to the roads leading in/out of the airport, perhaps both the owner(s) of the Brindabella Business Park (who are making shit-loads of money and causing a lot of this traffic) and the government may need to start upgrading the roads out there!!!!

It would be nice to have some federal money. Though that NEVER happens.

Err. Oh well. Hmm…

cranky 7:02 pm 23 Feb 08

A recent item in the news (SMH, I think), reported on the huge involvement of the head of Sydney (?) Cabs in the running of the industry in Sydney, and his control/interest in CabCharge, which apparently is a ‘nice little earner’.

I am questioning the whole fare/driver wage/ owner return equation of the local industry. Drivers are required to provide ABN’s, presumably so owners can buckpass workers comp & PAYG to the drivers. This is apparently one of the major disincentives to becoming a taxi driver.

An indication of disparity of fares was recently experienced by a close friend. Airport to south Woden – $44.00, Boston Airport to Hotel – $10.00. You wouldn’t get out of the airport for that in Canberra, and I would expect the costs to be similar, ACT/US.

Someone is making a motza in this industry, and it dosn’t appear to be the front line drivers. It will be interesting to see if the Gov enquiry will identify the winners.

Mr Waffle 6:37 pm 23 Feb 08

Not entirely related, but I caught the countrylink train back from Sydney last year, it arrived late (11pm-ish) on a Sunday night. There were a few cabs there, but it was one short- I was second last in line, but I let the people behind me take it, as they were tourists. Every person who got in a cab told the driver they needed to send one more for me, and the driver called it in each time. Naturally, no cab ever arrived. I had to call a mate and get them to give me a lift, not the sort of thing I wanted to do at nearly midnight…

Nemo 4:08 pm 23 Feb 08

Deans run a bus to civic and back every hour. I’ve caught it a number of times. Bit more expensive at about $8 but cheaper than a taxi.

sepi 3:41 pm 23 Feb 08

Where is the airport bus?????

Devil_n_Disquiz 2:46 pm 23 Feb 08

As a cab driver in Canberra, I have the following to say…

During morning peak and afternoon peak it can take 35 to 40 mins to get to the airport, from the city. This is up from the 10-12 mins it takes any other time of day.
Personally I will not drive empty for 35 mins only to pick up a $15 fare to Campbell Park Offices which will take me another 20 mins to complete. $7.50 for 55 mins work…I think not. I’ll stay in the suburbs and make 4 or 5 times that amount.

Mr Hargreaves should really take himself off to the Dr and get his ears looked at.
He states that 20 to 26% of cabs are not operating and that by adding an extra 50 licences will fix this problem. This AFTER being told that the reason 20 to 25% of cabs are not operating is because they don’t have drivers !!!!
Mr Hargreaves is a goose if he thinks adding 50 license is suddenly going to bring more drivers out of the woodwork. Instead of 56 taxis sitting around without drivers he will have 106 taxis sitting around not doing anything.

Mr Hargreaves obviously hasn’t got a clue and should resign and let someone who does have a brain continue his portfolio.

Mind you…wasn’t Hargreaves caught DUI a couple of years ago ? He probably wouldn’t know what a taxi looks like.

NickD 1:25 pm 23 Feb 08

Can we re-nationalise Canberra Airport? There seems to be no way that the government could do a worse job of running the place than the company which is running it, which seems to have little interest in using the land to actually operate an efficient airport. Setting up a business park and outlet mall seems to have come at the expense of an airport which people can get to and drive past.

needlenose 12:57 pm 23 Feb 08

If the airport and airlines would agree to stagger take-offs and arrival times, then instead of having a massive log jam when all the planes take off and land within a few minutes of each other, there’d just be a steady flow of work for the cabbies.

But that seems so obvious that I assume there must be a reason it can’t be done, right?

smokey4 12:41 pm 23 Feb 08

This is not rocket science. You need a method to transport a large number of people at short notice. These things are called buses however most people who travel out of Canberra airport have never travelled on one and do not know what these things are or how to catch one. Defence, Centrelink and some other government departments operate them to link there sites. Peak periods will exist in Canberra due to parliment sittings etc. Pollies will always get their cars at the expence of the peasants.

el ......TECortina 2 12:14 pm 23 Feb 08

Where does the blame lie?

Global warming.

Aurelius 11:39 am 23 Feb 08

When the economy is the way it is, the lower-end jobs will be harder to fill and this is a consequence. Don’t panic. So long as the economy stalls, as it seems will inevitably happen in the next year or so, the problem will vanish 🙂

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