Businesses, and the tourism and events industries alike, have welcomed the draft Taxi Industry Inquiry report, saying the recommended reforms will effectively support a multi-modal transport system that can cater for Victoria’s diverse range of transport users.
The Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI) entered a joint submission to the inquiry, along with the Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) and the Victoria Events Industry Council (VEIC), much of which was referenced throughout the inquiry’s draft report.
VECCI Chief Executive, Mark Stone, says, “A reliable and adequate taxi service is an important part of the State’s overall business infrastructure. The taxi industry is important to all Victorians. This includes business, tourism and events activities.
“Unfortunately, current service delivery standards regularly fall short of the expectations and needs of the business and the wider community. For a state that relies heavily on a multi-modal transport system, it is vital that our taxis are as efficient, reliable and competitively priced as other parts of the transport network.
“In this respect, the recommended reforms to increase the number of taxis and hire vehicles, improve both vehicle and driver quality, and improve consumer and driver safety are all welcome initiatives.”
VTIC and VEIC Chief Executive, Dianne Smith, says, “Recognising that our tourism and events industries operate in a globally competitive market that relies on high quality support services that add value to the ‘visitor experience’ adds further weight to the importance of achieving sustainable improvements in taxi industry performance.
“Feedback gathered from members included in our submission highlighted a lack of supply and long waiting times as common complaints from taxi users, including Victoria’s more than 20 million annual domestic and international visitors.
“The recommendation for more taxis and hire cars is positive, however it is important that this additional supply of taxis and hire vehicles is accurately and efficiently directed to areas of need and at times of high demand, during peak periods, especially in the CBD, and to key locations to support large events such as conferences, sporting matches, festivals and concerts,” says Ms Smith.
“Accordingly, with the prospect of additional taxis and hire cars on the road, traffic management systems, especially in the CBD, must be adjusted to deal with the increased traffic flows.
“The recommended ‘Greater Melbourne Knowledge’ exam is also a great initiative. This exam must require taxi drivers to demonstrate their knowledge of the location of, and directions to, major attractions, landmarks and tourist precincts in Melbourne.
Mr Stone says, “An essential part of the success of the reforms will be robust compliance and enforcement activities once the relevant regulations and legislation are passed. This is an inadequacy of the current system and the reforms will be ineffective if not properly implemented, monitored and enforced.”
For more information:
To arrange a media interview with VECCi Chief Executive Mark Stone or VTIC and VEIC Chief Executive Dianne Smith, contact Senior Communications Adviser Melina Walton on firstname.lastname@example.org, 03 8662 5310 or 0423 883 945.