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Taxis as shuttle buses?

By johnboy 24 November 2008 24

In a lot of countries it’s normal for private minibuses to ply the routes of the city bus system. They charge a little more, but they’re here now, and they’re going to the same places.

The Canberra Times has got a story on taxi operator Ricky Simatupang and his plans to run a fleet of 12 seat taxis in a similar way.

The difference being that our ACTION bus system doesn’t actually run between places people actually want to go so at least he won’t be scavenging their routes.

At the moment the airport is making life hard for Ricky, apparently preferring to herd their passengers like cattle.


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Taxis as shuttle buses?
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Skyring 2:23 am 02 Jan 09

Thats not even mentioning the RIP OFF prices that they charge. I laugh hysterically that they are trying to pass a surcharge for travelling out to the airport, on top of the extra the customers have to pay sitting idle in the ridiculous traffic.

Taxi rates are set by your government. The airport charges $2.00 for using the cabyard, recoverable from the passenger. Blame the airport and the government for the traffic problems.

Airport to city centre, Canberra’s taxi fares and travel times are probably the best for any capital city. Internationally, Washington DC and Reagan National Airport (domestic services only) is about the only reasonable comparison I can think of for the Western world. Perhaps the problem isn’t with the cabbies, who are hard-pressed to make a decent living, but with unrealistic expectations of passengers who don’t understand the system.

The best advice so far is from the poster above who divides the longstay cost by two and compares it to the cab fare. If you have a car at your sole disposal and you don’t mind it sitting out in the weather, that’s a good option. Terry Snow would approve.

tylersmayhem 10:32 am 25 Nov 08

Take it up with the Airport.

….on top of the extra the customers have to pay sitting idle in the ridiculous traffic.

Pretty sure that’s not the cabbies doing. Take it up with the Airport. If you have any success please let us know.

I’m not going to take it up with the airport. It doesn’t affect me because I don’t use Cabs – in fact I avoid them like the plague, as do my family and most people I know. Perhaps YOU my friend, should tkae it up with the airport, and it may well affect you.

farnarkler 9:34 am 25 Nov 08

I’m sure I used to work with Ricky. I think it was at the law courts back in 88. Good luck to him if he can get his plan up and running. It sounds like you’d be better off getting a lift to and from the airport from friends rather than trust the taxi firms.

seekay 9:05 am 25 Nov 08

“Anyone else here blantantly ignore the “no pick up” signs at the airport when picking people up from flights?”

As a matter of principle!

Bundybear 11:17 pm 24 Nov 08

Anyone care to bet that those 12 seaters are in fact wheelchair cabs, with licenses specifically based on prioritising wheelchair passengers, and that if the service gets up the wheelies will be royally screwed yet again. Not against the proposal, just reading between the lines. Happy to be put in my place by anyone who KNOWS this is not the case.

p1 10:50 pm 24 Nov 08

Anyone else here blantantly ignore the “no pick up” signs at the airport when picking people up from flights?

Snarky 9:33 pm 24 Nov 08

Tyler @ #15 Thats not even mentioning the RIP OFF prices that they charge.

Care to elaborate? We turn on the meter at the beginning of the trip and turn it off at the end. The rates are the same whether you’re travelling from the Airport or anywhere else.

I laugh hysterically that they are trying to pass a surcharge for travelling out to the airport…

It’s a $2 surcharge to cover the $2 the Airport charges us to wait out in the rank out there to pick you up. Don’t like it? Neither do we – it’s a PITA to explain to customers and we certainly aren’t getting it. Take it up with the Airport.

….on top of the extra the customers have to pay sitting idle in the ridiculous traffic.

Pretty sure that’s not the cabbies doing. Take it up with the Airport. If you have any success please let us know.

GB 6:51 pm 24 Nov 08

jakez said :

It’s the Canberra INTERNATIONAL Airport thank you very much…

A Qantas spokeswoman said: “… Canberra’s not set up to service a 747 – they don’t normally land there; it’s not an international airport.”

As others have pointed out, running an airport is not their main business anyway. Certainly not running a local passenger airport. Their ‘customer service’ to people trying to catch a plane is so poor because we are not their real customers.

sepi 4:47 pm 24 Nov 08

Yep.

I have not caught a cab in Canberra since they brought in that dud voice activated booking system.

They have done themselves out of a lot of fares – I used to cab every time I went out.

tylersmayhem 4:26 pm 24 Nov 08

I just don’t even bother with Canberra Taxi’s, ESPECIALLY if it involves the airport. Whenever I’m needing to fly from Canberra, I arrange for a family member to drop me off and pick me up. And of course I repay the favour whenever they fly. Whenever I’m picking them up, our arrangement is re-enforced after looking at the size of the taxi line, and the number of taxis. Thats not even mentioning the RIP OFF prices that they charge. I laugh hysterically that they are trying to pass a surcharge for travelling out to the airport, on top of the extra the customers have to pay sitting idle in the ridiculous traffic.

When is someone going to make this Terry Snow character accountable for ANYTHING? there is a special place in hell for this guy.

Feathergirl 2:47 pm 24 Nov 08

Visiting Vanuatu I, and most of the locals, caught private mini-buses around the main island for 2 Vatu (about $2 AUS – probably less) a ride. Where ever I wanted to go only $2! You had to share the buses with whomever flagged the driver along their journeys, and the mini-buses don’t have seat belts, but it was an awesome system. I didn’t mind a bit of a longer drive to pick up/drop off another person as the drivers really thought about their routes as they catered to everyone. Might not work in Canberra though as there are a lot more cars here slowing things down. Anyway I think Ricky Simatupang is onto a good idea, I wish him the best of luck.

Devil_n_Disquiz 2:39 pm 24 Nov 08

Seekay,

Sorry you had such a drama.

I have said it before somewhere on this site,,and I’ll say it again. Forget the base. Don’t ring them. They are as useless as ,,,well,,you know.
When you find a driver that you like,,get his number. The majority of my Silver bookings now come from regular clients who prefer to speak to the driver direct than an incompetent person at the base.
Most, if not all, of the reasons a Silver cab fails to show is because Aerial have lost the booking, or stuffed it up somehow.
i.e. I have been sent to pick up a fare at 5.45pm when it was actually 5.45am that morning.

As for Silver Service and child seats. I think there is only one that actually carts a seat around with him. Takes up too much room otherwise with the gas tank being in the boot as well. I certainly don’t have one in my Silver cab,,but,,it only takes a few minutes to borrow one off another cab (Canberra Elite)

Regards

Silver Cabbie 🙂

harvyk1 2:36 pm 24 Nov 08

ant said :

I saw a Tiger Airways plane beetling around on the runway recently. That sounds international.

Nope, that’s just to Melbourne.

Also Jakez, be fair, they did have 3 token international flights a week for a few months in 2004.

I’m still looking forwards to when these upgrades finish which will take the airport beyond a large shed with air-conditioning.

p1 2:34 pm 24 Nov 08

The only thing that makes Canberra airport better then Flinders Island Airport (last I was there) is that the runway isn’t dirt. In every other respect I can think of it is worse…

As for the oringinal thread topic, I hope that anything to improve the public transport options in Canberra goes ahead. Best of luck to ’em.

I always drive to Sydney to get on international flights. Cbr airport is just too much trouble.

ant 12:57 pm 24 Nov 08

I saw a Tiger Airways plane beetling around on the runway recently. That sounds international.

jakez 12:51 pm 24 Nov 08

harvyk1 said :

I don’t get Canberra Airport. Considering that they are only one step up from a regional airport why do they consistantly make it difficult for people to get to and from? I have yet to go to another airport in Australia (or New Zealand) that treats it’s customers with the same level of contempt, (and bar Tassie, I’ve been to every major airport in Australia and New Zealand in the last 2 years).

It’s the Canberra INTERNATIONAL Airport thank you very much…

Despite not having any international flights since…when did they stop flying to Tonga? 1998?

ant 12:45 pm 24 Nov 08

The airport’s poor attitude to air customers is due to their irritation at having to run an airport on prime development land. it’s such a nuisence! Gets in the way of more lucrative activities.

The above is only slightly tongue in cheek.

p1 12:40 pm 24 Nov 08

Considering Canberra airport’s apparent desire to buy into every business they would normally not be able to get planning approval for, I am surprised that they have yet to open a series of night clubs and casinos services by a private monorail.

jakez 12:38 pm 24 Nov 08

I fear Ricky will be quickly crushed by the inescapable red tape of the state.

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