Taxi drivers demand 50% fare increase

asp 20 September 2007 28

Local Taxi drivers want fares to increase by 50%. In practical terms, this will rise the cost of:

  • Fare from Lanyon Valley to Canberra Airport from $50 to $75 (25.5km/20-30min)
  • Fare from Narrabundah to Manuka Plaza up from $8to $12 (3km/5min)

I have no opinion on whether they deserve an increase or not, though 50% seems a little steep. What I do know is that such a price rise would likely harm the industry. Buses would look more attractive and the push for light rail would increase. Local chauffeured car providers would also boom as I found out last time, a chauffeured car cost a little less ($45 vs $50) than a taxi to the airport and was far more comfortable.

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28 Responses to Taxi drivers demand 50% fare increase
Mr Evil Mr Evil 12:00 pm 24 Sep 07

I caught a taxi on Friday arvo while the driver was in the middle of a slanging match with some woman at Canberra Cabs’ dispatch. He was spewing about being sent all over town for pickups that weren’t current anymore i.e. the person had either been picked up by another driver, or they’d waited so long to be collected that they got sick of waiting and left.

After speaking to the driver, I would suggest that all is not well in Canberra Cabs.

shauno shauno 9:40 pm 21 Sep 07

I always tip just out of habit. If its like 17 ill give him 20 if its 35 ill more then likely give him 40 etc etc. Unless its shocking service. Canberra Taxi drivers in general don’t rate to badly in my opinion compared to other city’s in Australia. Mind you its not exactly hard to get around Canberra but you do some times get one that hasn’t a clue.

barney barney 9:40 pm 21 Sep 07

Yep, they sure are a joke. Canberra Cab’s are the biggest pain in the arse. But the thing is, the others don’t have as many cars, but at least you get to actually talk to a human.

I don’t think it’s the driver’s fault though. I mean, they don’t make the choice to piss everybody off by implementing a joke of a booking system.


VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt 9:20 pm 21 Sep 07

Hey, it’s their business. If they want to destroy what’s left of it, great. Taxis in this town are a complete joke.

barney barney 7:17 pm 21 Sep 07

The fares are shocking at the moment…. :S

asp asp 6:22 pm 21 Sep 07

I don’t think many people tip. I was once running late for something (and there were no taxis for ages), when I got one and go to the destination, I was in such a hurry that I gave the guy a $20 for a ten dollar ride and said keep the change. He looked shocked and kept thanking me. Hell, its only an extra $10!

Ozhair Ozhair 10:51 am 21 Sep 07

So, if we give them the price increase, does that mean they’ll actually start doing the job they’re being paid to do? You know, little things like actually showing up when you book them?

Thumper Thumper 10:02 am 21 Sep 07

I’ve done the cash fare thing a few times. I just offer the driver $20 to go from x to y, take it or leave it.

As for London Cabs, pricey, but so cool….

Pandy Pandy 9:48 am 21 Sep 07

Well how many cash fares do they get and thus there is no tax record?

hingo_VRCalaisV6 hingo_VRCalaisV6 8:45 am 21 Sep 07

Remember Woody, these cars are running LPG which is far cheaper than unleaded or diesel cars the rest of us drive. The $50 from Civic to Ngunnawal cannot be justified by maintenance costs or the time to travel to another fare. Their running costs are minimal. As someone else said, how come chauffeured transport is cheaper over the same distance? For the cabbies price, you would think they were driving a top fuel dragster.

GnT GnT 7:01 am 21 Sep 07

I’ve never tipped a cabbie. Maybe I’m just tight.

And I agree with asp, I know a few people who always book a (chauffeured) hire car to take them to the airport. As well as the comparable cost, they’re not going to be stood up.

hk0reduck hk0reduck 12:55 am 21 Sep 07

I can see an ‘on-the-record’ wage of $9/hour being a possbility, but I was under the impression that Taxi driving was one of the only services that it is Australian custom to tip for, I guess if they want to convert their tips into a taxable income that’s fine with me.

If first year economics taught me anything it is that it is naieve(sp?) to think that just because you charge more for a service means that you will make more money then before.

asp asp 9:35 pm 20 Sep 07

If cabbies are claiming that they can’t make a living and they drive LPG falcons, why do the suit wearing drivers with petrol guzzling Holden Statesmans offer lower prices (for longer trips) and better value for any trip?

Felix the Cat Felix the Cat 8:43 pm 20 Sep 07

Taxi Drivers should be paid Action Bus Driver wages.

Yeh I forgot, this was one of the other points bought up by the “2CC cabbie”. He reckoned ACTION bus drivers were paid $26/hr.

Vic Bitterman Vic Bitterman 8:37 pm 20 Sep 07

If the $ comes out of my pocket I care. When I use my work supplied cabcharge, my employer and I don’t care (trust me, my employer doesn’t worry).

So maybe a increase on cabcharge style tickets would be warranted, given the huge amount of work usage in this town?

That would cover a great deal of their requested increses, whilst keeping us punters who enjoy a night out with similar fare to get home??

Just a thought….

Pandy Pandy 8:36 pm 20 Sep 07

Taxi Drivers should be paid Action Bus Driver wages.

threeze threeze 8:30 pm 20 Sep 07

So, crappy service and poor driving = stupid increase in fare?

Felix the Cat Felix the Cat 8:11 pm 20 Sep 07

There was a cabbie that rang 2CC talkback today and was giving his justification for the price rise. He was comparing prices of all sorts of things from LPG to builders to groceries to houses all going up dramatically in the last few years and how the cab fares have barely increased in this time.

He also said that an average cab driver is lucky to average $9/hr for a +50hour week so therefore are struggling to make a living.

He reckons that he has to go halves with the cab owner on fares and then take John Howard’s cut (GST) out of their half (he didn’t mention income tax but I guess that would have to be deducted as well).

He also said that sometimes in peak periods there are as little as 1/3 of the cab fleet on the road because there aren’t enough drivers so if you give them a 50% fare increase it will encourage more people to take up driving cabs for a job.

The cabbie also seemed to infer that most of Canberra people were public servants with high paid jobs and if they could afford to go out clubbing or for dinner in Civic then they could easily afford such a cab fare increase.

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 7:40 pm 20 Sep 07

I’d be curious to know what you’d charge to drive somebody to Ngunnawal from the airport. Remember to factor in your time to drive to the airport for the pickup, waiting in the queue, driving you to Liverpool South, then coming back into Belconnen (more likely the city) to get another fare, petrol for all of the above, insurance, rego, taxi license, owner’s cut, maintenance…

I don’t know what’s worse – that you’re such a bunch of tightarses, or that you expect others to slave for what you’d expect to be paid much more handsomely to do, if it ever came to that. Knuckle-dragging fucktards.

pptvb pptvb 7:25 pm 20 Sep 07

Too true Hingo,
watch the drink driving increase!
BTW…Canberra Airport to my office in Fyshwick, in zero traffic, ..$16 !! Nice $160 p/h !

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