Is it time taxis picked up their act? 71

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Get in a taxi any day of the week and there’s a fair chance you’ll be met with that distinctive scent and atmosphere. Often, you’ll sit in silence, trying to get some fresh air, though that’s not to say there aren’t clean, very polite drivers out there, because there are. But let’s face it: they’re in the minority, and something needs to change.

Today it’s been revealed just how far the NSW Government has been pushed by cab companies to crack down on ride sharing app Uber. They’ve issue 40 suspension notices to offending drivers and RMS Director of Safety and Compliance Peter Wells said, “Taxi and hire car services in NSW must be provided by an operator accredited by Roads and Maritime, in a licensed and insured vehicle which is driven by an authorised driver”.

“Thousands of dollars in fines have already been issued to drivers offering illegal ride-sharing activities and compliance actions will continue.

“If drivers continue to offer illegal ride sharing services – they will continue to risk registration suspensions and fines”.

But what they aren’t acknowledging is just why Uber is so popular. There’s a number of reasons why Uber have become huge in Australia and it comes down to supply and demand, quick and friendly service, and cheap prices.

And it seems any attempt by cab companies to get back their lost custom has been futile – Business Spectator found that April strikes by cabbies in Perth resulted in a 500 per cent increase in Uber requests. Strikes are not convincing us we need cabs, they’re making us turn away. Even more strikes staged throughout Australia just last week, showing no signs of backing down.

So is it fair enough that cab drivers are angry at this ‘illegal’ ride-sharing service for taking away their business? Or should they just pick up their act?

Consumer advocate CHOICE found no truth the the NSW Government’s advertisement that say catching an Uber ride is akin to hitchhiking, in fact finding from 56 trips around Sydney that it was a safe, reliable and cost effective service.

“When we looked at a comparative between UberX and the taxi industry on things like checks, record of trip, GPS tracking, rating system and insurance, UberX performed very well, as did the taxi industry,” said Choice’s Tom Godfrey, reports SMH.

An Uber spokesperson told the ABC, “The people of Sydney are choosing Uber in their hundreds of thousands and we look forward to seeing the Government recognise this by putting sensible ride-sharing regulations in place as quickly as possible”.


So today we want your thoughts: Do you think the taxi industry needs to pull up their socks? How could they improve? Do you ride in taxis regularly?

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  1. Last time I took a cab was over 20 years ago. Driver had one hand on the steering wheel and was using the other to eat KFC, was all over the road and speeding, I was scared witless. Vowed I would never get in a taxi again unless absolutely urgent and now take public transport.

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  2. I use taxis combined in Kingston if I have to use a cab. Usually I don’t need to go too far, buy their cabs ate spotless, they are friendly and always prompt.

  3. Taxis seem to be a problem all over the world. Taking a taxi in Dubai, driven by a female, I thought I have just joined Lewis Hamilton for a drive!! My nerves were shot. Same in Paris. Hell drivers to say the least. And here I would rather prefer public transport!

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    • I was in a cab once in Newcastle, the driver was using only his wrists to steer, while travelling around bends very fast.

  4. I can’t get a taxi from Rye to Sorrento and back home again! Waited for 2 hours last Friday. I have waited for 4 hours. Buses are the pits also!

  5. Its like not having a liquor license and only pays the Good drivers well until the rates payed reduce and then it becomes the same drivers as the taxi industry.The technology is available with many apps nothing amazing and can be used by taxi’s

  6. Because my husband can only travel in his electric wheel chair, we have to use wheelchair taxis to go anywhere. We have missed so many appointments, family functions, including an early family Christmas dinner, all because the preordered wheelchair taxi hasn’t turned up at all, or they have sent an ordinary taxi. You have to ring up days ahead, but so often we have been disappointed. Then, when you complain, they accuse you of either not ordering the taxi at all, or not making it clear that you needed the wheelchair taxi. While Vic was still in care, the sister in charge rang for a taxi for Vic 3 days before needed. I was there early to accompany him, but no taxi. We missed an important appointment. The taxi company rep was extremely rude but had to back off when the nurse played the recorded order to them. In cases like this there should be an order number and a text confirming the order. When I suggested this I was boo hooed. Consequently we rarely go anywhere except where we can go with Vic in his chair and me walking.

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  7. it makes me laugh that the public always complain about the condition the taxi is in no matter how clean the taxi is you would still complain,, when i drove taxis i had passenger complain that my wheels were dirty it was bloody raining at the time i did not get fined that the shit we had to put up with,.
    i drove taxis for 21years & that is in n z & uber is not helping the taxi industry,…..

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