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On 2am taxis

By johnboy - 28 June 2009 40

Last night I was leaving Civic at 2am, which means I’d already made some mistakes.

Looking at the line for taxis my first instinct was to just walk home.

But for reporting purposes I decided to give it a go.

And for a piece of civic infratructure relied on by thousands of Canberrans every week it truly is a disgrace.

One has to wonder that if it wasn’t being used by mostly young drunks at 2am something more would have been done long ago.

For a start it was raining lightly, and the line is uncovered.

While there was a little man in high visibility gear trying to organise proceedings he was overwhelmed by both the poor behaviour of tired drunks, and the logistics involved.

People couldn’t actually get into the taxis fast enough at the front of line, which meant there was a queue of people wanting taxis standing next to a queue of taxis waiting for passengers.

As the rain started to fall harder some enterprising souls just jumped into the taxi in front of them. Which is fine except that people who were further up the line and had been queueing for 10 minutes in the rain didn’t like this very much.

Short tempers, line jumping, tired people, loads of booze, it is a recipe for serious disaster.

The basic problem is having a single point of dispatch, which concentrates all the issues.

Just a thought but why not use all of the bus interchange and have the man in the high visibility gear direct taxis rather than people?

Separate ranks for South, North, and West would help people pool, using the taxis more efficiently. The divided queues would be small enough that people could fit under the bus shelters, and by splitting the crowd up the chances of tempers building would be significantly reduced.

Just a thought, if anyone in power cares.

What’s Your opinion?

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40 Responses to
On 2am taxis
toriness 2:45 pm 28 Jun 09

i have on more than one occasion walked home (4km+) rather than wait in that bloody awful cab queue. it is a complete disgrace.

c9 2:45 pm 28 Jun 09

But the point is that cabs cost enough that why should you have to walk?

Deadmandrinking 2:32 pm 28 Jun 09

It’s called being completely pissed, vg.

vg 2:13 pm 28 Jun 09

farnarkler said :

You should have gone to the casino cab rank.

x 2

For those that think its a little bit ‘too much of a walk (??)’ I’d hate to see how you’d react to doing any real exercise.

I have never waited in the City Cab rank. Casino cab rank is far quieter and generally a better class of bogan.

Too far to walk to the Casino rank, I don’t think I’ve ever heard lazier. Its about 500m

dvaey 2:04 pm 28 Jun 09

Remember when we had a late night bus? You could go into Civic for a night out, then catch a bus home for $5, no huge queues, no unknown wait-times (they were all timetabled) and more dispersed travellers rather than all congregating in one location.

Remember who the biggest complainer about this night bus service was? Thats right, the taxi service, complaining that with such a great bus service often going close to your door, people weren’t prepared to spend $50 to catch a cab home.

Surely, encouraging people to catch a bus to/from civic would not only reduce drink driving, but simply reduce the number of cars on the road and in the carparks. Bringing back the Night-Rider service, would help the police, the public, infact, basically it would solve every problem except for the cabbies whinging about lost fares (which they cant even keep pace with on a fri/sat night anyway).

Deadmandrinking 1:36 pm 28 Jun 09

farnarkler said :

Deadmandrinking the time it takes to walk to the casino rank from the Phoenix if comparable to the time taken waiting with the knuckle draggers in the civic rank. I just prefer the to miss out on the circus that is the civic rank.

That’s true, but it depends how drunk and lazy you are…but if the taxi rank could just be quicker…

farnarkler 1:24 pm 28 Jun 09

Deadmandrinking the time it takes to walk to the casino rank from the Phoenix if comparable to the time taken waiting with the knuckle draggers in the civic rank. I just prefer the to miss out on the circus that is the civic rank.

ahappychappy 1:13 pm 28 Jun 09

The line last night wasn’t as bad as usual… some nights you wait a good hour or two to get a taxi. Unfortunatley, this is the system the taxi companies have decided to take on. If you call the cab hotline they just tell you to move to the interchange cab rank, and the other cab ranks (outside Academy and the Casino) are usually empty as all the cabs move to the interchange.

The problem doesn’t stem from the system, the problem stems from the fact that authorities think that two old fellas in high-vis jackets can control thousands of drunks wanting to go home. Perhaps some authority needs to be in place instead of two old blokes trying to do the best they can. The police usually inhabit that area of the interchange anyway, is it hard to wander over to the cab rank and stand there instead of on the other side of the road? Maybe that would help reduce the amount of trouble.

Deadmandrinking 1:05 pm 28 Jun 09

farnarkler said :

You should have gone to the casino cab rank.

Yeah, I used to do that when toast was still going, and I still do if I got to the Church/Transit bar or whatever it is now. But when you’re in the main part of the city near the pheonix and ‘those’ places that you only go into when the bars are shut, it’s a bit of a walk.

Stonedwookie, it wouldn’t really be much of an extra hassle to divide up the queue, plus it would save time for both the customers and especially the drivers, who rely on time to make their money…

Piratemonkey 1:00 pm 28 Jun 09


I believe you will find the vast majority of people in that line are mostly at least mentally young adolescents not the adults that would reflect the body they are inhabiting.

Common sense isnt likely.

farnarkler 12:59 pm 28 Jun 09

You should have gone to the casino cab rank.

Piratemonkey 12:56 pm 28 Jun 09

*Safety oops.

Then again if the cops simply arrested everyone in civic who are drunk and disorderly. Plus fine them $1000 bucks for the service to cover costs(police not criminal record btw) the taxi line might not be so bad. Hell make it $1500 think of the revenue.

stonedwookie 12:56 pm 28 Jun 09

how about adults growing up?
not having a whinge because they couldnt get 2 a taxi first
a line for taxi’s? do they have this in other citys?

Deadmandrinking 12:50 pm 28 Jun 09

That’s a really, really good idea, Johnboy. I like the idea of south north and west sides of the interchange. Perhaps they could just split them up into town centres. Have a platform for belconnen, a platform for north canberra/gunghalin, south canberra/queanbo (if anyone ever taxis back there?), woden/weston and tuggeranong. Just have more taxis directed at the longer queues.

Piratemonkey 12:49 pm 28 Jun 09

I would love to know how many people decided against waiting in the line in the rain and walked back to their car and drove home drunk? Then add the constant fights..

One would think the police would be pushing for a better system. It would solve alot of problems for them.

I do like the separate rank idea johnboy.

I think a surcharge for civic pickup after hours should be introduced. Introduced by someone other then the taxi companies who cannot organise for the life of them btw. $2 dollars per fare out of that spot after mightnight would surely pay for some security guards, surveillance and basic infastructure/ organisation.

Saftey and convenience will mean more people use the service and more taxis will feel safe to pickup in civic. Most importantly there will be less drunks on the road.

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