Last night Darren2 made a comment on the state of the taxi service which I thought was worthy of wider reading:
Just a few comments about the biggest problem in Canberra and thats the fiasco of Canberra Cabs. I work in a hotel which has a taxi phone and the voice recognition system does not recognise accents, visitors to Canberra do not know the suburb of every attraction in Canberra, and the elderly just canâ€™t work the system at all. We also house the nations top Judges, Politicians, professors & intellectuals of all shapes and sizes who frequently curse and swear and slam down the phone (in our lobby) in sheer frustration. If having to put up with aggresive behaviour from frustrated guests who canâ€™t negotiate this rediculous system isnâ€™t enoughâ€¦. the operators are just as useless. I saw one guest who was hung up on simply because he could not understand and the poor chap eventually missed his flight as a result. The newest and most laughable incident was when I tried to book a cab to pick up and elderly lady from the train station (at 1035 pm) to bring her to the hotel before it closed at 11. Well I was told that they cannot book a cab for the train station because there was a cab rank there, so effectively we did not know if she would be picked up or not. Of course when she arrived the rank was empty. So after finding a man with a mobile who knew the number they phoned (and booked) a cab. The first cab that showed up would not take them because it was a booking. It is so bad its worse than laughableâ€¦ its a disgrace and an embarrassment to Canberra. How can we operate a city without a reliable means of getting from A to Bâ€¦. it enfuriates me every day!!!!!
Comment by darren2 â€” 3 January, 2007 @ 11:10 pm
Please Mr Hargreave (I know you or your staff are reading) can you stop your failed Stalinist/Fascist command and control efforts to get the monopoly corporation to behave?
If Queanbeyan can support a taxi service then Canberra can support 10 and we can find out what consumers really want. Yes we’d have to lose the revenue from your corrupt taxi license auction process*, but frankly the true cost to the community of the Canberra Cabs monopoly is far greater than that revenue.
I hear when Dublin was faced with a similar situation a few years ago they slashed the cost of a taxi licence to the bare minimum required to ensure standards were met, removed all caps on the numbers of licenses, and agreed to re-imburse the lost license value via a tax credit. As cabbies rarely report their true income the tax credit remains mostly unclaimed. Also they now have a taxi service the Dubliners are happy with.
So here’s the deal Mr. Hargreaves, why don’t you and your staff take a nice two week study tour in Dublin (you know you want to, I hear the pubs are lovely)? Then come back and take this problem out of the hands of your incompetent bureaucrats and give it to the tender mercies of the market.
I realise this would mean you’d miss out on a number of TV appearances, but surely you grow weary of being associated with Canberra Cabs? Surely the benefit to the community is more important than getting your face on WIN News?
* I’m saying the auction has been corrupted by artificial supply constraints, not that I know if anyone is improperly benefitting from it.