As a follow-up to yesterday’s announcement that an independent taxi license trial will begin early next year, the Office of Regulatory Services has released further information about how the trial will work.
The pilot, which will operate for 3 years, will provide the opportunity to assess whether this model of taxi service provision results in:
–improved taxi operator viability (primarily by operators not having to pay taxi network affiliation fees of approximately $17,000 per annum);
–competitive pressure which acts as an incentive for taxi networks to improve their level of service to operators and taxi users;
–opportunities for developing niche markets and a superior level of service especially for the business customer for example Silver Service; and,
–more choice for taxi users in who provides their transport needs.
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Participation will only be open to any experienced operators who:
–have held continuous accreditation for a minimum period of 4 years from the date of application to join the Pilot;
–have demonstrated a consistent record of customer service (as evidenced by no or minimal complaints about the person in their capacity as either a taxi operator or driver being referred to the Road Transport Authority (RTA));
–have demonstrated a consistent record of compliance with the requirements of operators as to the standard of taxi vehicles (as evidenced by no or minimal instances of improvement notices or vehicle defects being issued, failing taxi vehicle inspections or audits of Minimum Service Standards (MSS) compliance);
–have demonstrated financial capacity to operate a taxi service (as evidence by payments of taxi licence fees on time and maintaining required insurances;
All participating taxis will have to have tracking devices, security cameras and emergency buttons for drivers, and there will be no official network set up for people to book with independent operators, instead requiring drivers to develop their own client base.
The trial will run for three years.