On why taxis cost so much

johnboy 5 August 2009 24

In the recent discussion on taxi fares Stone made a comment that I considered worthy of greater prominence:

    #22 posted by Stone
    (Newbie)
    01:13, 5 Aug 2009

    Expensive?

    If you think it is expensive, you think people who drives taxis are making good money, however, why don’t you drive it?

    You are not on the job, you know nothing about it. The ACT govenment wants too much out of a taxi, that’s why it is “expensive”. The taxi rego costs about $8,000 a year which only cost about $2000 in NSW. The taxi plate leasing costs around $20,000 a year, and the insurance costs another $10,000(for vechile & driver). And all this still not include the running cost. Taxi Opereator needs to pay taxi base bout $1,300 each month for the base radio fee as well. If you want to put a car on road to do the business, you need to pay $1600 to fit all the equipments in and all of that cost a lot. There is a camera rental fee cost $1,280 which is stupid, as the camera is useless & hopeless. PS. one of the driver had a fight with a crazy oz animal who was asking cash from the driver, when the police try to access the camera hard drive to get that man’s picture, it was nothing there. We pay $1,280 for nothing!!

    Now you still think it’s expensive? How much do you think the driver will get? Let me tell you that the driver only gets half of what you paid. And that is before GST and Tax. The driver has to pay GST and Income Tax to the govenment. If I pay you $25 ask you to drive me to somewhere around 20km, specially when I was drunk and crazy as a dog, would you like to take me for $20? I rather pay you more to drive me back to home safely!

    Everyone needs to pay their bills and live in this city. If you have so much to say about the taxi industry, why don’t you write something to the govenment with all of your question marks about why canberra taxis are so danm expensive?


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I-filed I-filed 10:04 pm 15 Nov 09

random said :

Found this interesting PDF of Australian taxi industry benchmarks/averages which says that drivers get $76,950/year in fares on average. 50% of that pre-tax is not a good income.

That would include the many, many part-time taxi drivers though. It’s meaningless without knowing the number of hours involved … $40,000 could be an excellent earner – if it’s two nights a week on average …

Skyring Skyring 6:43 pm 15 Nov 09

eyeLikeCarrots said :

I’m happy to pay a fair fee for a taxi ride.

I’m also entitled to get into a cab and not be refused because the driver does not want to drive to the destination, it being too short a trip and him being pissy that he waited a whole 2 minutes in the rank while I waited 20 minutes freezing my bollocks off.

Taxi rates are set by the government, not by the taxi companies. In theory the government makes sure that drivers are trained and competent, cabs and drivers are well-turned out, properly equipped and so on. In practice, some drivers break the rules and get away with it.

I never complain if the fare is a short one. I take the position that the passenger’s need to get home is precisely that, regardless of whether they live in the next street or the other side of town. More troublesome to me are long fares that are going in an inconvenient direction for me if I’m close to the end of my shift or I’ve got a timed booking coming up.

Cabbies are entitled to refuse passengers under certain conditions, one of them being if the passenger is affected by alcohol or drugs. Late at night, that’s pretty well anybody. We’re also allowed to refuse passengers who are ill, or in soiled clothing, or are abusive. That’s a few more.

Ad yes, it’s aggravating to wait a long time for a cab in the queue on Alinga Street or the airport. But that’s when there are a lot of passengers waiting and the cabs are busy. It’s a peak demand for cabs, and choosing to travel at such a time virtually guarantees a delay. Check the cab rank an hour earlier and you’ll likely see a long line of cabs waiting, engines idling. In fact most of a cabbie’s shift is spent waiting. A good strategy about getting a cab is to stop drinking before you get drunk and there are cabs available.

Hells_Bells74 Hells_Bells74 7:51 am 06 Aug 09

Yeh, well please don’t get mad at me when I don’t know the destination either (you couldn’t have ever looked at a map?). Had a run of taxis in Canberra and Sydney when I was relying on them, sometimes abuse me when I couldn’t tell them which ‘exact’ way to go. I bloody well cheered the first guy I saw with a GPS in his cab. Could’ve kissed him!

We don’t pay third world prices, I expect better standards all round.

Stone Stone 1:38 am 06 Aug 09

wooo..

I wasn’t expecting there are still people dicussing this.

Just finish the shift today which is a bad one again. As we know the fare price has been changed since July of this year. It is a little bit more expensive now. I don’t think that decision was made by a genius. We are in recession, people would not like to spend their money on luxery goods or services anymore, specially taking taxis.

My point is we are suppling too much, and because of the recession, the demand is reduced. Just simply more taxis getting less jobs. However, someone has just set a higher price that less people will use taxis in future unless they really need one. Taxis are not hire cars, not only for rich people. It is a convenience service for everyone. What they did just make this service like a bad circle, is killing this industry.

I still remember, when parliment was on that how busy the airport was. People were standing on the rank waiting taxis for long time. By that time, some say, we need to do something about it. The complaint has been made by senates or whoever was trying to catch important meeting. Then the govenment would more than happy to release more and more taxi plate to provide this service.

P.S. some say, “you are the taxi driver, you must know where are we going, don’t you?” Yes, yes, but we are human, not a machine or a computer. It is impossible to remember every single street for anyone, isn’t it? Please don’t say a driver not well trained because he doesn’t know where the Bird place in Flynn is. I think he knows a lot of areas in canberra better than you do.

Anna Key Anna Key 10:01 pm 05 Aug 09

I feel for the drivers trying to get a few bucks especially in a town where at least half the trips are probably cabcharge, so no tip. However, I have little sympathy for the owners who seem to all own a McMansion in Gungahlin (so they take joy in telling me).

What I do want is a cabbie who doesn’t try tell me their opinions of the world, especially on the way to the airport at 5am.

OYM OYM 7:00 pm 05 Aug 09

From what I gather, it depends on the shift. Week nights after midnight and there’s not much money to be made. Fri & Sat nights are the big bucks, but they also involve the most passenger aggro.

GregW GregW 6:27 pm 05 Aug 09

You often here the line that more licenses won’t help because there aren’t enough drivers / cars are being unused.

However I can’t help but wonder if this is just a misconception pushed by the taxi industry (license owners in particular) to prevent the devaluing of their existing licenses.

My (albeit simple) understanding of economics says that if licenses are going unused then the market value should close to $0 rather than ~$250,000.

OYM OYM 6:07 pm 05 Aug 09

Another thing to remember is that even in tough economic times, cab driving is a marginal game for a driver. If you had a free for all for plates, the problem wouldn’t be solved because there’s already cabs parked because the owner can’t find a driver.

I’m not a taxi industry apologist, but I really think that a lot of people make statements about the industry without properly understanding what it’s all about.

OYM OYM 6:04 pm 05 Aug 09

Half the cost of a similar ride in Canberra. Are you sure?
Yellow Cabs Melbourne quotes $1.61 per kilometre & 3.20 flagfall.
Canberra Cabs Woden to Airport quote is $33.93 for same time zone. That’s a 16.87km trip. So about $1.81 per click. More expensive in Canberra, but not a factor of 2.

dalryk dalryk 5:30 pm 05 Aug 09

youami said :

If you are comparing fares to fares in other cities, you cannot simply do that because each city operates and is designed differently, Sydney has trains and nightride buses etc that compete against taxi patronage.

Sorry, why can’t we compare taxis in different cities? Isn’t that the easiest and most logical comparison to make to work out whether one particular set of taxis are too expensive?

Like Clown Killer said, taxis in melbourne are generally less than half the cost of a similar ride in Canberra, and I want to know why. Sure Melbourne is bigger, and has a different geodemographical setup, but I can’t see how that can equate to a 100% price difference.

Sounds like these artificially limited licences have a fair bit to do with the problem…

OYM OYM 5:17 pm 05 Aug 09

As an ex cabbie, I think few people realise the bad deal drivers get. Someone told me when I got my pube job that it was like winning lotto. They were right, comparitively.

Cab driving has lots of plusses, but the average driver gets pretty sick of 12 hour shifts, drunks, psychos, you name it. I’ve had days where I start out and circumstances worked against me and I end up making nothing for the first 2 hours of work. This is especially the case in January each year.

Owning a cab is a bit like owning an investment property. Some go backwards financially, some make a bit and those that manage them well and own more than one can end up doing very well.

Clown Killer Clown Killer 3:21 pm 05 Aug 09

What are we comparing the ‘expensive’ fares to?

In my case Melbourne and Perth – both just a little more than half the price over a similar distance.

TP 3000 TP 3000 2:08 pm 05 Aug 09

CapitalK said :

Take the cab number and write a letter of complaint – the driver will be dealt with accordingly.

I followed a cab that was doing 80k’s up Antil Street, cut someone off when he turned into Madigan Street, I took the cab number & complained to Canberra Cabs, I received no response & I saw him do it again 2 weeks later (same driver, different cab).

From my many years of experience taxi, DC & DX n umber plated vechiles have the worst drivers at the wheel.

SheepGroper SheepGroper 1:39 pm 05 Aug 09

CapitalK said :

Take the cab number and write a letter of complaint – the driver will be dealt with accordingly.

Emails work just as well. Although it may be a week or three before someone gets back to you for more information, you’d best note down everything you remember about the incident and time/date/place picked up and destination and the taxi.

youami youami 1:24 pm 05 Aug 09

eyeLikeCarrots said :

I’m happy to pay a fair fee for a taxi ride.

I’m also entitled to get into a cab and not be refused because the driver does not want to drive to the destination, it being too short a trip and him being pissy that he waited a whole 2 minutes in the rank while I waited 20 minutes freezing my bollocks off.

Or be futtzed around because he A) does not know the way to the suburb or B) how to use the god damn GPS that is 16 inches from his face.

Or sit in a cab that smells like an ashtray…. or have the driver gabbing on his mobile phone while drinking his coke, tearing up Commonwealth ave at 105km/hour…

Little wonder I rarley drink in the city.

When I meet a great cabbie, I will ask for his card.

I think you find it is a legal requirement for a driver to take you to your destination once you have got into the taxi.

I have found drivers in Canberra reasonably alert and they know the city. Like anything, you get some good and you get some not so good. I have only once not had a cab turn up at my address, all other times they turn up within ten minutes.

Oh and why wouldn’t you pay for the privilege of door-to-door service. What are we comparing the ‘expensive’ fares to? Compared to walking? Compared to getting a bus? Of course it is more expensive! If you are comparing fares to fares in other cities, you cannot simply do that because each city operates and is designed differently, Sydney has trains and nightride buses etc that compete against taxi patronage. You are comparing apples to oranges. If you think taxis are expensive, don’t use them! There are choices, admittedly for most Canberrans it will most likely involve walking :).

Welcome to a capitalistic society = user pays!

Oh I also agree with Ian, suck it up re GST and tax, we all have to.

peterh peterh 1:20 pm 05 Aug 09

probably why cabexpress are based in queanbeyan – the NSW rate is much lower. The problem is that the aerial monopoly extends to businesses like hotels. The cab service that the hotel recommends is not both operators in town, it is one of the aerial services, and if you are from sydney, elite is known to you.

CapitalK CapitalK 1:17 pm 05 Aug 09

eyeLikeCarrots said :

I’m happy to pay a fair fee for a taxi ride.

I’m also entitled to get into a cab and not be refused because the driver does not want to drive to the destination, it being too short a trip and him being pissy that he waited a whole 2 minutes in the rank while I waited 20 minutes freezing my bollocks off.

Or be futtzed around because he A) does not know the way to the suburb or B) how to use the god damn GPS that is 16 inches from his face.

Or sit in a cab that smells like an ashtray…. or have the driver gabbing on his mobile phone while drinking his coke, tearing up Commonwealth ave at 105km/hour…

Little wonder I rarley drink in the city.

When I meet a great cabbie, I will ask for his card.

Take the cab number and write a letter of complaint – the driver will be dealt with accordingly.

eyeLikeCarrots eyeLikeCarrots 12:09 pm 05 Aug 09

I’m happy to pay a fair fee for a taxi ride.

I’m also entitled to get into a cab and not be refused because the driver does not want to drive to the destination, it being too short a trip and him being pissy that he waited a whole 2 minutes in the rank while I waited 20 minutes freezing my bollocks off.

Or be futtzed around because he A) does not know the way to the suburb or B) how to use the god damn GPS that is 16 inches from his face.

Or sit in a cab that smells like an ashtray…. or have the driver gabbing on his mobile phone while drinking his coke, tearing up Commonwealth ave at 105km/hour…

Little wonder I rarley drink in the city.

When I meet a great cabbie, I will ask for his card.

random random 11:25 am 05 Aug 09

Found this interesting PDF of Australian taxi industry benchmarks/averages which says that drivers get $76,950/year in fares on average. 50% of that pre-tax is not a good income.

Inappropriate Inappropriate 11:16 am 05 Aug 09

I don’t understand why taxi plates are artificially limited.

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