Taxi Industry Inquiry
On 28 March 2011, the Victorian State Government announced a major independent inquiry into the Victorian taxi and hire car industry, Professor Allan Fels AO was appointed to head the inquiry. Professor Fels was assisted by Dr David Cousins AM.
The inquiry undertook a comprehensive investigation into all aspects of the taxi and hire car industry and recommended a set of reforms to the government focused on achieving better outcomes for the travelling public.
On 31 May 2012, the Victorian Taxi Industry Inquiry released a draft report. Read VTIC and VECCI's response to this report here.
From a tourism and events industry perspective, taxis are a vital transport link for visitors. From the perspective of visitors to Victoria, in particular international visitors, there is a great deal of trust invested in the taxi driver and an expectation that the driver will be able to bring them safely and efficiently to their destination. In some cases, visitors and tourists will be relying on – even dependent on - the taxi and the driver’s local knowledge to take them to where they need to go.
As part of VTIC’s Industry Survey for the May 2011 quarter, questions relating to the Victorian taxi industry were included and respondents were asked to provide their answers from their perspective as a tourism business owner or stakeholder, rather than as an individual consumer. The taxi section of the survey received 100 responses. Consistent with the information in “Setting the Scene”, the results revealed that the main areas of concern are:
- inconsistency of supply;
- quality of service; and
- value for money.
As important as the taxi industry is to all Victorians, its service delivery standards regularly fall short of the expectations and needs of the business community. Feedback from industry as input to this submission reflects dissatisfaction with a number of aspects of the current system. The challenge of mapping out a future for the taxi sector that achieves meaningful and enduring improvements in service quality is significant. However, it must not be ignored.
For a state that relies heavily on a ‘multi-modal’ transport system, our taxis must be every bit as efficient, reliable and competitively priced as other parts of the transport network.