Wednesday, November 24, 2010


The Herald Sun reports a decline in satisfaction for taxi users in Victorian. This is an issue I have, but let me find out more about our taxis. I am an infrequent user and the times I have used them, the worst I can complain about it incompetent driving skills. In the past year I have caught maybe half a dozen taxis and only one was driven well. Making the drivers pay for their own fuel, brake pads and tyers would help a lot.

My mistake number 1, the Taxi Directorate is not a private umbrella organisation as I thought, but part of the Public Transport Division within the State government.

Very sneaky VTD website. There is a link to to parliamentary acts that govern taxis, but not a direct one. The link only takes you to general legislation site. I hope the site has a good search facility, but I cannot be bothered.

The simple thing I wanted to find out was how often the exterior of a taxi should be washed? I cannot remember seeing so many taxis with filthy exteriors as I have this year. A friend used to drive taxis. Maybe it was company policy rather than a regulation, but at the end of each shift the driver had to wash the car. If our friend's taxi was dirty, he would give it what he called a dollar squirt at a car wash. In practice what happened was if the car was dirty, it was cleaned.

Not so nowadays. So many taxis have built up grime on them, not just grime that accumulates in one day.

The taxi industry is a disgrace. Anecdote after anecdote, media report after media report. Hardly surprising really when a driver might only earn eight dollars an hour. If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. If anyone takes that the wrong way, I don't care. It is an expression that has been around for as long as I have.

It is high time the industry was given a massive shake up. Just remember this, like trams, trains and buses, the taxi industry is controlled by a government department, the Department of Transport. Over to you Minister Pakula.

Post started 30/10/10


  1. I remember catching a taxi from the aiport to head back home and as soon as I hopped in, but as soon as the driver did - his BO smothered/ENVELOPED me and I very nearly vomitted. It was that strong. To top it off, he had the heater on full blast. There was no turning back as the taxi was already moving. Had to breathe into a tissue all the way back home. Yucks!

    I try to stay away from taxi's as often as I can, but then again, our public transport system is a sham - last train/tram at 12-1230am? Great - rely on taxi's then - NOT! Why not just stay at home, its so much cheaper than. Social life? What social life?

  2. After being viciously verbally abused by a nutfucker taxi driver (he wanted to take me the long way, I said no) when I was trying to get home from admitting Dad to the hosp from hell last year (after midnight) only to have him return to the emergency dept 10 mins later and yell obcenities at me in front of dozens of witnesses I was unimpressed to find he was still driving taxis despite having reported him to the company and the police.
    I avoid travelling in a taxi on my own as much as I can.

  3. Anonymous4:45 pm

    I have been almost run off the road on the tulla near DFO, he was tailgating me and flashing me, mind you I couldnt move over anyway, when he picked his gap he swerved and almost ran me off the road. I got my daughter to ring Silver Top and quote the dangerous driving they couldnt be assed and said I had to ring the police, a bit late by the time hey, as it was out of there hands, my daughter then argued well the cabs belong to you as a company. nope they hung up on her.
    dangerous driving is a given and as above to any of the culture that drive the cabs, they too believe deodorant is a myth, god help us in summer then!!


  4. I was always quite content with my local taxis- mostly only used them to/from the airport and they helped me with my luggage. But when I broke my left arm it was a different story. Despite an obvious cast, they would give me no help with shutting the door, and often took off before I had managed to do up the seat belt- very difficult with the right hand into a left-side attachment. I was not amused!!!

  5. Did you hear Stubbsy talking about this the other day? The head woman of the VTD was on and she just ignored everything that was brought up and said oh we only get 3500 complaints a year, that's a small amount blah blah. Yeah because people are sick of getting the run around when they do complain so they never bother again.

    I used to catch taxis once a week or so, a couple of years back and they were mostly awful. Stinky, unclean, unsafe.

    Having to deal with them at work is a nightmare, they're the dodgiest customers ever.

  6. Bad Mirabella. At least on a train or tram you can move away. You are trapped in a cab. I don't have a problem with public transport finishing at the time it does. Ha, like I would need it late at night. The Nightrider bus service is pretty good I think.

    Jayne, I bet if your better half was with you, it would be a different story. If he did that to you, he has probably done it to others and should not be driving.

    Michelle, while I am not sure the result would have been any different, you should go to the Taxi Directorate who are answerable like no private company is.

    KN, I can see closing the door a problem. But wouldn't you do the seat belt with your right hand and the place to plug it into on your right. You would laugh if you could see what I am doing with my hands. No, I would actually have to do it to see how I would do it. We had a Kenyan expat taxi driver in Auckland ever so many years ago. He was very nice and a Mau Mau refugee. Lucky I had recently read about Kenyan independence and was up to speed.

    I missed that Fen. The head woman at VTD would be a spin person. I think I have heard her before. At work you should say that the phone line is really bad and can they call back, and just hope it goes to another operator. Although in the early hours, how many operators would there be?

  7. There's only 3 of us and taxis aren't meant to ring us at all. They have their own number - the commercial part of the call centre - but they try every trick to get us to do stuff we're not supposed to do.

  8. Here I go...and am saying the unsayable in our politically correct universe - I was amazed when in melbourne how many taxi drivers were from India...and there is a very different attitude - it is a cultural thing not a race thing
    and no matter what the cultural background I have noticed that many don't seem to keep the cabs clean,
    don't like turning the air con on and yes I have been nearly sick with the BO of some drivers from all races...
    and here in Port Macquarie the bulk of the cabs are very clean, drivers friendly, and mainly honest - maybe needs more controls down there -

  9. MC, I guess in somewhere like PM, they couldn't get away with what they can in a big city. I would have something to say or a number to note down if they won't use the air con.