More taxis needed. Why?

Pandy 15 September 2008 42

Today the Canberra Grimes reported that the ACT Government is looking to establish a shuttle between Canberra Airport, the Parliamentary Triangle and Civic. The proposed service would be operated by up to 10, 11-seat taxis which would be dedicated to airport work during the morning and evening peaks. Still to be overcome is approval for new fares to cover the transport and commissionaires at the airport.

I ask why waste money on this proposal that will probably cost $1 million and be used by a dozen public servants (not the pollies in their limos) when for $200 million you could link the airport to Parliament Triangle via light rail and double patronage compared to the taxis from the airport?


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42 Responses to More taxis needed. Why?
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jube_V8Fairlane_235kw jube_V8Fairlane_235kw 11:57 am 16 Sep 08

Skidblanir, they can’t attract drivers as the pay is commission based and currently at approx $9/hr. The shifts are 12 hours long, and Canberra business is very variable both seasonally and with Parliamentary sittings. In the winter Parl recess, when it’s -3 at 1 am in Civic, you won’t have any trouble finding a cab…..but leading up to Xmas with Parliament in town you won’t see many vacant. As dirvers are paid on commission, it can be hard to keep them happy when business is down.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 1:44 pm 16 Sep 08

realityskin said :

hardly need more cabs on the road…there isn’t enough work for the poor cabbies as is.

Maybe some of them could answer the fking phones then, instead of having to deal with that totally inadequate and frustrating phone system.

jube_V8Fairlane_235kw jube_V8Fairlane_235kw 2:04 pm 16 Sep 08

Holden, don’t make the (very) common mistake that the call centre and the cabs/drivers are the same company – the call centre contracts their services to the fleet, and has no ownership of the cars and are not the drivers employers.

jakez jakez 2:50 pm 16 Sep 08

Jube, does the call centre take a commission for each fare sent out from whoever accepts it? That would seem to be the most efficient method to me?

jube_V8Fairlane_235kw jube_V8Fairlane_235kw 3:05 pm 16 Sep 08

Unfortunately, no. Each car pays a weekly base fee to the base regardless if that car is operating or not.

jakez jakez 4:14 pm 16 Sep 08

Does the Call Centre have a Government granted monopoly, a market monopoly, or is there more than one competing centre?

peter@home peter@home 4:23 pm 16 Sep 08

Skidbladnir said :

An industry with only a few local operators, large unmet demand, but not enough employees sounds like an problem with the operators…

So for those of you who have worked or do work in the industry, why can’t they attract (and keep) enough drivers?

Skid,

consider the following – I work 5 days a week, sleep at night, mostly, have weekends off, and get paid a larger amount than I ever did behind the wheel of a cab. I can now sleep in normal hours, not during the day.

I don’t get daily abuse from drunken passengers, have to end a shift due to someone throwing up in the back of the taxi – and not have anything to show for it, they never seemed to have the cleaning cost…

I don’t get abuse from passengers, have to listen to people explain what is wrong with the cab industry, the cab they are riding in, the fare system, the cost of petrol, the economy, taxes, immigration, terrorism, welfare, the footy, etc, etc.

some people enjoy it at the start. then it wears you down.

the other hindrance was the the theory and practical tests. I certainly cannot remember the streets between the airport and the city. (I know them, I just couldn’t name them)

it is a large investment to an owner to sponsor a new driver. the driver has to pass all the exams and training, then be a viable income source for the owner.

it is easier to get a 9-5 job and weekends to yourself. How do you glorify the Taxi Industry, when there are people being stabbed, robbed etc, for $9 per hour?

Granny Granny 5:39 pm 16 Sep 08

Here’s a thought, we could pay them a decent minimum wage like, say, a bus driver!

Overheard Overheard 5:52 pm 16 Sep 08

Sometimes I can’t sleep and lie awake at my office desk pondering these matters…

Overheard Overheard 5:56 pm 16 Sep 08

^^ Er which was a reference to #27, not Granny’s.

My four day a week job deals with the travel industry and I have a large number of national clients (he says, cringing at that term) tearing their hair out over taxi availability. Many give up and just opt for the the hire car companies.

bigred bigred 6:15 pm 16 Sep 08

Hey how many ACTION bus drivers moonlight as taxi drivers? And how many of them would go over their driving hours limits. Scary thought!

Aurelius Aurelius 6:23 pm 16 Sep 08

The lack of taxi drivers is a result of the poor pay and booming economy.
Supply and demand. It;s the market people, the invisible hand. The god we’ve been taught to worship in recent decades. Pay them more, and you’d get more people wanting to be drivers. Flood the market and you get lower pay, and thus you make the problem worse.

ant ant 7:42 pm 16 Sep 08

We need proper airport shuttles, like those Blue Vans they have in the US. And then there’s all the other national and local companies.

For those who haven’t used them, they’re sort-of commercial car pooling. You get to the airport, and have either pre-booked your ride, or just front up to the counter when you get there, OR, ring the company and wait for the van near the appointed sign, or just bail up a driver and he might take you.

They try to fill the van, and try to arrange it so everyone in the van is going to roughly the same area. Then the driver gets your destinations, and drops you off one by one. I’ve used them from/to JFK/Manhatten, Denver airport/Summit County, SLC-ParkCity and SLC/SLC. They are brilliant, cheaper than taxis, and they work. Everyone uses them.

The airport with its monopoly would be in a prime position to set this up. They could have a counter or floor walkers at the airport, grouping people by destination, and get them loaded and off.

Aurelius Aurelius 7:57 pm 16 Sep 08

Ant, If the airport had a shuttle, a proper shuttle, I’d go watch it launch every time. It’d be awesome!

ant ant 8:30 pm 16 Sep 08

Right, Aurelius, that’s it, off to the Offal Thread!

Granny Granny 8:34 pm 16 Sep 08

Ant, I don’t think he’s gone to Offal. I had a look and there was no-one there.

ant ant 8:42 pm 16 Sep 08

Sprung! Wagging the Offal Thread!

Granny Granny 8:54 pm 16 Sep 08

Nobody wags the Offal Thread! You do the crime, you do the time.

ant ant 10:06 pm 16 Sep 08

I’m going to bookmark it, so I can really send people there.

Granny Granny 10:46 pm 16 Sep 08

I have bookmarked it too. You never know when you will need it.

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