Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Not getting the taxi thing

Taxi drivers are conducting rolling protests at Melbourne Airport. They normally queue in a holding yard and eventually get to the airport rank, where they quickly pick up their passengers and depart. Sometimes the fare might a really good one, say to Frankston ($100?). Sometimes it might be to airport hotel across the road ($5?). They wait a long time in the holding yard and naturally get very annoyed when they get a short distance fare.

To overcome their issue, Melbourne Airport introduced a policy where taxi drivers who took a short fare, could return to the airport and jump the holding yard and be in the quick queue at the airport. There was no proof that they had taken a short trip, and so naturally enough some abused the system.

Other systems have been suggested, such as short trip drivers getting some sort of proof token.

I have a different view, against the taxi driver's who have been in the holding yard for two hours and then get $5 trip. It is not fair, they protest.

Surely it is fair. Who gets the $5 fare today, will get the $100 fare tomorrow. Who got the $100 fare today will get a $5 fare tomorrow. It is all about the odds, and odds do balance out.

The taxi drivers should cheerfully accept any fare, long or short, and if they don't, then there is something seriously wrong with the taxi industry and its fare structure.

Our state government commissioned a detailed report on Melbourne's taxis by a noted professor. Apparently his report suggests something that reduces the value of a license to run a taxi, nothing to do with drivers themselves, although he did suggest they should be better paid.  Our government has been silent since the report was released.

12 comments:

  1. Yeah, some of my clients regularly complain they can't get short fares to and from hospitals and medical appointments if they go by taxi. I'm talking frail elderly people and still they're discriminated against. It pisses me right off.

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    1. The taxi system is screwed Fen. You will recall how well the system works in England.

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  2. I hope the taxi drivers in Melbourne are better that they are here in Brisbane, where half of them can't speak English, have no idea where they are going, always relying on GPS and interchanging licenses. It was recently revealed that some overseas drivers don't even have drivers' licenses.

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    1. Bill, it is very much the same here, although I would like to think our taxi drivers do have driving licenses.

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  3. I would like to offer an opinion on Perth taxis Andrew, but seeing as I can't remember the last time I took one, it would have no value whatsoever! I haven't even heard any rumbles on TV..I'm guessing our airport situation mat not be as hectic as yours ..

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    1. Grace, without any knowledge, I would bet that Perth taxi drivers who work the airport get grumpy at very short fares. The fare structures are wrong.

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  4. I used to take taxis to/from the airport but no longer do so. The fare is so expensive it is actually cheaper for me to park my car in the long term car park for many of my trips. That also gives me the advantage that I don't have to join a long queue for a taxi on my return from a trip.

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    1. Victor, yes, it often works out like that. Our long term car park used to be good, but is becoming increasingly dysfunctional because of the scarceness of the buses to collect people and get them to the terminal.

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  5. We in Sydney have a train service to the airport, it is owned by the airport so is more expensive than regular service but it's pretty good compared to the rest of the trains and gets you into the city quickly so their is a bit of competition for the taxis.
    As far as I know the taxis pull up in front of the exit gates in a area just for them and they move out pretty fast.
    Do an experiment tell them you are from out of town and it's your first visit, in a lot of cases you will go the long way round to your destination.
    Merle..............

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    1. We've used the train Merle, and as efficient and pleasant as it is, it is so expensive and I think it is cheaper for two people to catch a cab. We have caught the normal bus to the airport, and that wasn't bad if you have the time. Taxis rip off tourists here too. Even we were cheated a bit in a cab from Potts Point to the airport.

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  6. Our airport is easy enough to get to by bus. I don't know how the taxis work there, I've never heard of a holding area. Ours just line up along the taxi rank and people get in the one that is first in line I think. They seem to move in and out of there pretty quickly.

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    1. River, unless you know about the taxi holding area, you would not know it is there or in operation. As far as the public is concerned, taxis just arrive and depart. But yours may well not have a holding area. Adelaide City being close to the airport makes bus travel there a good option.

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