Taxi and Chauffeur Vehicle Industry Review

We want to hear your views on the draft terms of reference for the Taxi and Chauffeur Vehicle Industry Review.

The terms of reference are:

  • Service standards and opportunities for improvement
  • Safety and security for passengers and drivers
  • Driver remuneration and working conditions
  • Fares and surcharges
  • Training and accreditation requirements
  • Vehicle standards and requirements
  • Centralised booking services
  • Synergies with other forms of public transport
  • Innovation, new technologies and competition
  • Taxi and chauffeured vehicle roles in the tourism visitor experience
  • Regional Services
  • Adequacy and cost of accessible taxis

Comments closed

Bill Tsiopelas

26 Sep 2015

Prior S.A. Governments going back hundreds of years have driven the Taxi industry to where it is now! Your predecessors legislated through parliament and have given you the rules regulations that protect Passengers and Drivers from each other. Please don’t forget just 1 decade ago the murders stabbings bashings and robberies. These regulations have been changed over the past decade to a point where this awful behaviour hardly occurs.
S.A. Government needs to follow rules put in place by their predecessors they are there for a reason. UberX is an illegal ply for hire app! In South Australia you need a special government approved licence to ply for hire.
No to UberX should be the South Australian stance.
Yes to Uber Black, they follow the rules.
Taxis have only one real problem and that is how do you bring driver wages up? Good question but is the correct way by bringing in more competition? The pie is only so big how do you make it bigger? UberX and some people will tell you it’s by dropping prices? That will not raise Taxi driver wages is will lead to a mass exodus out of the Taxi driving component of the Taxi industry. The South Australian Taxi industry is at a tipping point now and will easily collapse. I am sorry I don’t know the answer to bringing up driver wages but I do believe doing this will resolve many customer issues.
The UberX model is based on making the driver a partner and then they continue to flood the market with drivers they don’t care if the driver is making a satisfactory wage or not Uber gets its percentage so has the driver wage issue been resolved?
There is another issue you need to take into account Uber is in the process of trying to take over the global Taxi/Cab industry if they succeed, who is going to tell them what to do? They don’t listen now! Please stand up to them.

Andrew Trimmings

24 Sep 2015

I took an Uber in Melbourne. It was fantastic and the taxi industry there is still thriving. Uber is in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and is growing. When you book a taxi or get into a taxi, it is an unknown quantity - as a customer I regularly have a poor experience. You simply can't be a successful uber driver and allow a poor customer experience, so for the uber customer and the successful driver it is fantastic. If the taxi industry actually competes with a similar safe, clean and fair service then what is there to worry about?

manoj sharma

11 Sep 2015

TAXI Industry need a reform but with regulation and standards we are happy with the regulations we have to follow to provide good costumer service but expenses are too high on this industry every driver have to start his day to put 150 dollars from his pocket before even he make single dollar how depressing is it all day either you have work or not you have to pay this money plate owner has investment of 300k and he is getting payed 500 dollars every week, without paying any thing. if he buy a house for investment he will get 250 to 300 dollars in Adelaide. then registration for taxi is 1500 dollars for 3 months is this fair you can make it double or triple then a private car. then compulsory insurance 4000 a year, then maintanance petrol GST so driver or operater has to struggle for this to keep taxi on road and people say taxis are expensive and uber is cheaper put these expenses on them and then ask them to provide rides on same fare and prices.
Government worry about all other minimum labor rate in all industry but noone care about taxi drivers there minimum wages is 5 dollars an hour(even this is not for sure) is this fair. If regularities can reduce this base expenses on taxi example bit cheaper registration, less plate lease , less insurance then make all transactions electronically and start to get more tax on there income this will make every one happy,.
Taxis should be own by only person who wants to drive not for the investors if some one wants to invest in taxi industry then invest in buying plates. A person who is driving his own car he don't need to take approvals to fix the car from the owner of the car he will have more pain for his asset and will keep it clean and can provide better service. If some one have 50 cars he always have different driver everyday on a car and every one know just go through this day without spending time to clean or maintain it and go home it will be hard to provide good costumer service and clean car.
Taxi drivers do not mind to compete with Uberx but make a same ground of competition put these same expenses on uber and then ask do they want to operate and compete with taxi industry.
Taxi driver those have only driving jobs for there living do you think its fair with them start a day with 150 dollars expense and then if you are lucky enough you can make 100 dollars top of that for himself but if bad luck if he get sick next day you have to pay 150 dollars doesnt matter you work or not i dont know any other industry where you have to pay when you are sick. then there is no superannuation or any annual leave. so no future or retirement security but you have to work to make living.

So please think about this in reformation how depressing job it is where you have all sort of uncertainty and you have to provide very good costumer service to get some praise from costumers. If all day a taxi driver was good he will not get any praise or appreciation from costumer but end of the day 1 place or he could not make his expenses and putting some money from his pocket after 12 hours shift and he do not smile or welcomed a passenger there will be a complaint to the transport department. I believe its a painful job but still we are happy to do this but please if you cant make a taxi drivers life ease please don"t make it harder.
Thanks

Nathan Chattaway > manoj sharma

14 Sep 2015

Hi Manoj.
So, buy a $3000 Camry and join up with Uber as a driver. If you're good, you'll get positive feedback and make money.

Nathan Chattaway

11 Sep 2015

Government has a role in both public and private transit. Planning zones and corridors to support it, building required infrastructure for it to run on. In the realm of personal transit arrangements within the existing infrastructure, citizens should have liberty to make their own decisions. A user pays model is fair and equitable. So, regarding cars, citizens should be free to own a car, to rent a car, to pay someone else to drive their car, to pay someone else to take them for a single trip in the driver's car, or to hitchhike with someone else going the same way in a car.

It is virtually impossible for government to prevent people from making unwise choices, nor would we want to live in a place where government acted as if it thought this was its role. Services like Uber are very similar philosophically to hitchhiking, with the exception of replacing the age old "thumb" with a wider reaching application of technology. Taxis, while using exactly the same logistics as other forms of car travel, have to contend with the "great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money." In other words, the government wants to see income from taxis, so the industry became closely regulated.

I shudder to suggest that the only way the government will be able to deal with Uber and it's ilk is to ban physical currency altogether, to enforce their ability to collect tax in whatsoever form is legislated by the elected organs of government. So, unless we are to head further down the Fascist path, Uber will survive because it makes sense and is an efficient use of fossil fuel and manufacturing effort.

Personal cars as a viable mode of transit is running on vapour nowadays anyway. So, fighting over whether or not to jam the blood funnel into every new manifestation of transit adaptation that pops up is akin to rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic. Hey SA Gov! Let's build out the DPTI 30 year transit plan in 5 years. Let's manufacture light and heavy rail rolling stock at the old Mitsubishi and Holden plants. Let's free up bicycle regulations and encourage safe intermingling of transit modes on our streets. Let's build a helicopter and get off the Titanic before it's too late.

Matt Law

10 Sep 2015

You just need to open the system and allow UBER and other similar services. The rating system is the check/validation tool and encourages great customer service. Government regulation is unnecessary and costly.

Getting a taxi in SA is simply shockingly poor at times. Language can be an issue and often they just don't know where anything is. I had a taxi driver who didn't know what or where the Adelaide oval was.

If the TAXI industry is conducting trainging and imposing some level of standardization, it's not of significant value to the customer.

You do occasionally get a great TAXI driver, but it's not the norm.

YourSAy Team

27 Aug 2015

There are some really great points being made in this discussion. Thanks everyone for getting involved in the conversation.

Kim Mugge

24 Aug 2015

Why can't we have a system where the Taxi Drivers are tested by an independent body for knowledge of locations, English speaking abilities, and knowledge of road rules? I also think that using newly arrived migrants - which a fair wack of Adelaide's taxi's seem to be driven by, are ignorant of our customs, and social requirements. Why cant the government accept the fact that these drivers need to be given fair training to make visitors to our lovely state, get a good impression from the get go?? Maybe a compulsory TAFE course..that is funded via the Employers and the state government - without which you cannot drive a taxi?

Abel Crawford

24 Aug 2015

You should allow UberX to start operating. The current system is more expensive than it needs to be and way behind the times. UberX is based on a user feedback system where the drivers and riders are rated based on user experience. This is a far better system than straight government regulation. Ebay is a great example of the trust system based on ratings, while the government cannot regulate a seller in Hong Kong from Australia, the user ratings give you confidence that you will get what you expect. Same goes for UberX.

Not only that the UberX drivers have their driving and criminal history checked to ensure they are clear and their vehicles are independently inspected. Not only that the vehicles must be models from 2006 or later so you are always ensured a reason.

When you can order a car you can; see how far away it is, estimated time of arrival, estimated cost of fare, ratings of your driver and see that the vehicle they are driving is what is listed on the app and to top it all off, you just hop out the car when you are done, this especially handy if you are in a rush or need to get out the vehicle at an opportune moment.

"To understand how apps can solve competition problems, it’s helpful to distinguish two types of taxi trips. Pre-booked trips are those that are booked by consumers prior to travel, from home, work or their mobiles. Rank and hail trips are where taxis are taken from a queue at a rank, or hailed down in the street.

Analysis of these markets has shown that competition and market performance problems are far more prevalent for rank and hail trips. Unfortunately, this accounts for up to 70 per cent of trips in the dense urban areas. The main reason competition doesn’t work well in these markets is the lack of ‘repeat business’. Consumers will rarely use the same taxi twice. This means that reputation is not important; if I have a bad experience, I will not get the chance to punish the taxi operator by not using their service again. Where there is little chance of repeat business, there is little incentive to deliver a quality service.

Uber and other apps can help solve quality problems by allowing users to book a specific taxi with knowledge of its current location and the quality rating of the driver. This allows these vehicles – where markets work better due to the importance of reputation – to compete against rank and hail taxis – where markets don’t work as well. Information flow is better (fares can be estimated and then metered on users’ smartphones), and bad performance can be punished as immediate feedback of drivers and vehicle feedback can be given."

I say where there are user feedback systems the industry should be de-regulated.

John Rose

24 Aug 2015

I am totally shocked by the cleanliness of the cars that pull up at the airport. I have even refused to get into some. They might look just ok as they approach but the moment the door opens you can see immediately on and around the door where it seals is often absolutely filthy. There is NO EXCUSE. some of these drivers wait up to two hours for a fare. Do you think they would get out, inspect or maybe run damp rag around the car....Nope!! I shudder every time we wait in the queue. You have to realise this is the first welcome that a visitor to SA encounters. What an impression. NO EXCUSES FOR DIRTY CARS...no wonder Uber is killing them.

m c

23 Aug 2015

I am particularly concerned about the discrimination that service dog owners often experience when trying to use taxis. Better education of drivers about the important role that dogs play, and the legal rights of people with service dogs as well as enforceable sanctions if discrimination occurs would be a good start.

David Frick

21 Aug 2015

Furthermore; our fabulous dispatch system which in my opinion is based on a Slave/Master or Dog on a lead mentality. A type of racism, removal of competition between drivers. It may on the surface look fabulous to a clerk, but experienced drivers are constantly Denied Commercial Opportunity by a system that "offers" a job to the closest taxi (rubbish) im my opinion it's based on a fear the CBS's fear of being called Racist by incompetent, Inexperienced drivers that are so limited in intelligence they can't compete against experienced drivers and wouldn't survive in the industry unless they were spoon fed like babies. Either Keep Up; Compete Fair or Leave. Competition in a regulated Industry will rid us of the Riff Raff

Carol Close

18 Aug 2015

Lets just not ever have a tourist getting into a dangerous car thinking it was a cowboy taxi. A different technology for booking and does not change what the service is.

This is about keeping drivers and passengers on our roads alive and safe and having a pleasant time travelling, and it is vitally important to keep doing that. If we do not want an impoverished and dangerous society we shouldnt deregulate to become one.

If we were to remove the safety rail from a tourist's sightseeing platform on top of a cliff it would be reckless. Think of all the regulations as a safety rail.

Of course cowboys wanting to be tax free and above the rules can do it for cheaper and worse but that is a poor outcome for South Australians.
Lets not decide to do things worse.

Taxis pick up strangers and are closely monitored for the safety and security and fair treatment of the passenger and the driver.

David Frick

16 Aug 2015

And what else is there to do on a Sunday morning but use blogs, I have to wonder what would happen "IF" 900 Accredited & Licensed Taxis Joined Uber. I suppose that might impact on CabChhhhrge's bottom line. Who cares!! The latest proof that the Industry is run by the less than intellectually fortunate is Us a drivers can't swap AIT/YCG/STS Vouchers because, naturally they've had a squabble at that so○called taxi~council, aren't we just so lucky we have such bright people to Represent Our Interests and the interests of the credit providers.
They've done such a good job in the past.

David Frick

16 Aug 2015

Oh how sad it is; Look, it's a bird, it's a plane, No; just another gang exploiting hard working people whilst all dressed in off the rack suits.
Uber is just another Gang that buys off political leaders, and publicist's in a vein attempt to look like a white Knight。 We've got got so many of them being questioned at a few Royal Commissions, you can trust a Priest the same amount as you can Uber.
Isn't that wonderful that Jo Hockeys now advertising for them also.
Bottom line is this;
All taxi and hire car Companies are the Same. Just sub educated, yobbos, conning even less intelligent people to work for a financial reward which after FEES CHARGES including Gov costs; is less than wages below the Poverty Line.
And naturally the press just love Anarchy and who ever is buy lunch this week they will support.
Get Real, the End is Nearer than you think.

John Bartram

07 Aug 2015

I dont agree that the taxi industry is over-regulated. The regulations are a response to try to fix problems that have cropped up over the years. If Uber takes off in an unregulated way, then we will soon see the same sort of problems that have occured with the taxis which resulted in the current regulations.

David Frick > John Bartram

07 Aug 2015

I've beenproblem is the the unfortunate side of some regulations and I agree with the regulated Industry. For the short sighted; unregulated operations may seem fabuloExperience until Your daughters disappear, become the victim of a kidnapping, held as a drugged sex slave until dead, never to be found.
Gangs start using them as drug delivery vehicles.
The real problem is the ridiculous ease drivers get Into the industry, Racism is screamed when experience d drivers call for companies to stop FEADING new drivers. Get Experiance OR Get out

Taylor Rundell

28 Jul 2015

Regulation for passenger transport should not be based on a limited number of license plates. It should be based on standards of roadworthiness. If your car is roadworthy and you have a solid record of safety, then you should be able to charge people to drive them places. Uber has been as successful as it has been because it exposed the overregulated taxi industry to competition. I would welcome UberX services in South Australia following the removal of current laws surrounding the taxi industry. It would be another step towards economic development in our great state.

Taylor Rundell

28 Jul 2015

Regulation for passenger transport should not be based on a limited number of license plates. It should be based on standards of roadworthiness. If your car is roadworthy and you have a solid record of safety, then you should be able to charge people to drive them places. Uber has been as successful as it has been because it exposed the overregulated taxi industry to competition. I would welcome UberX services in South Australia following the removal of current laws surrounding the taxi industry. It would be another step towards economic development in our great state.

pratap philip

07 Jul 2015

I made my advent in Australia through Adelaide 2 weeks after 9/11.It saddens me to see the downhill track South Australia has taken compared to all states of the Federation except NT and Tasmania.Everytime I visit I see an increasing number of businesses and industries on the verge of closing shop.What ails the SA economy?It is a lack of executive vision and futuristic planning.SA has huge human capital and reasonable natural resources yet unable to attract talent and innovation.The Taxi industry also has the same lack of business sense
Maturity and foresight is required by the leaders of SA Taxi Industry.I am concerned that this panelm is not a ploy to follow the path of Victoria which radically changed the ground rules as if it was targeting one ethnic community heavily involved in this industry.By one fell stroke so many small businesses and households experienced the death knell for their meagre investments when deregulation of Taxi industry took place in Victoria few years ago..The Panel should realise that Taxi plate licence is a valuable economic instrument for the struggling SA economy.There is incredible competition and the profit margins are slim.Uber is slowly growing as a threat to the taxi industry all over the world.No measures or executive actions should be taken that will jeopardise a fragile industry.Representatives should be given opportunity to present their viewpoints in face to face meeting because operators have poor writing abilities

Ian Hams

05 Jul 2015

I think there also needs to be a review of the Medical requirements involved in keeping your SP/LP accreditation. Currently I have to visit My Doctor every 12 mths to have him do a Medical because I take Blood Pressure Medication. Other than that Im a reasonably physically Fit person. Its a extra cost Im burdened with every 12mths? Im also A Current Holder of a National Semi-Drivers Licence That allows me to drive Semi's on Australian roads with a Load of up to 30+ Tonnes without any medical Clearance Required. My Doctor thinks its unwarranted and the staff at the Transport Centre agree but say its a State Government requirement? Last year I was told the Government is looking at it, I wonder if this will be the Case? Also the Wages earnt by a Driver who is the first point of Contact for Overseas/ Interstate visitors is grossly underpaid fo such significance. It needs to be looked at as well as more training in the Tourism side of South Australia.
Ian Hams.,,

David Frick

05 Jul 2015

Naturally I will eventually write a long involved email, and will insure it's not discarded by those who have been a party to the Taxi Industries demise.
After 30+ years, still the same issues remain, and the same faces control policy or at least they control what gets to the Premier or The Minister.
It doesn't surprise me the the terms of reference are limited to the average small minded & short sighted view, "incite the viewers"
Open your eyes to the bigger picture; have a look around the world and the fact Australian Drivers & License Holders (taxis) fantasy of running a small business is under pressure is world wide. Doesn't matter if you sell "Fish & Chips" or "Newspapers"
There's NOT enough room upon this message board to answer all your Questions NOR will the powers that be allow you to hear or read it. But as an example.
For twenty years I've been saying; "Stop Introducing Taxi Licences that are not Attached to Wheel Chair Accessible Vehicles" general taxi owners & drivers Don't need the unwarranted competition!!" But 'alas' they who profit from more general taxis naturally oppose this and I wonder who they might be.
For the drivers, feel compassion for those on this board. "It's an impossible task because if the industry leaders and their linked in little group."

peter fullston

04 Jul 2015

I`ve only been driving taxis for 1 year , My biggest issue is Taxes here we are earning as low as $4.00 p/h yes thats right and we are meant to live on this , Well anyway why is it that all small businesses don`t have to pay GST till they have gross income of more than $75,000 , yet the hard working taxi driver who can earn as low as $300 p/week (50hours +) before income tax has to then go and pay GST on top reguardless of income amount .
So you do the math $300 less 10% GST then less income tax , and funny enough we still have the same bills as everybody else. I`m not saying it`s a bad job , but at the age of 55 there is not much else out there !!

Maria Maximova

02 Jul 2015

Part III

And last, but not least: in my humble opinion, there are to many taxis in the City. In the days of some big events (like footy or cricket matches, New Year, concerts, etc) this huge amount is necessary. But any other day all ranks are full of idle cars, and in the same time passengers are waiting for taxis in suburbs. May be we need some sort of regulations for work in CBD.

Thank you very much for the time you spent reading my letter. I hope we can improve industry's work. Sorry for my clumsy English, I'm doing my best to improve it.

Maria Maximova

02 Jul 2015

Let me continue.

Second thing is GPS navigators provided by taxi services. Truth be known, they leave much to be desired. Maps and algorithms are so imperfect! Yes, I know, in theory good driver must know all the streets in all 700 suburbs. But on practice, it is nearly impossible. So we using them, and sometimes they lead as to dead ends, no through roads or wrong buildings. And this is adding some more to waiting time.

And, of course, I just can not to skip the problem with drivers' behaviour. Many passengers told me: "Oh, that a pleasant surprise, the lady driver!". They are grow tired of filthy cabs, rude unhelpful drivers, some offensive comments and discrimination. I'm agree: cameras was a great idea. But they are not protecting passengers from verbal abuse, which is a very common thing. Once, last winter, I had an aboriginal passenger. She was pregnant, she was tired, she was cold. She also was sober, clean and had money. But she asked ten (!) drivers, and none was agree to drive her home! It is absolutely intolerable, but what we can do?

Right now taxis have one and only precedence over Uber. It is a passenger safety and sertified drivers. With rude, unhelpful drivers like those we'll surely lost this preference.

To be continued...

Maria Maximova

02 Jul 2015

My name is Maria Maximova, and I have work as a taxi driver something around 1.5 year.

You asked me if I have some opinion about taxi industry in South Australia, and I believe I have something to say.

In the time of my work I often heard the passengers' and other drivers' complaints about taxis and drivers. I had a lot of time to think about it and have some ideas.

First of all, it is time of waiting. Sometimes I saw the job staying on "cover" for hour, or even more, with two or three calls back. The problem (as I see it) is in the conflict of interests of passengers and drivers. We taxi drivers are subcontractors, and that means our money depends of fares: we have no salaries. So old lady going from, let's say, Hove shopping centre home locally will wait for ages. Her only hope is a driver coincidentally passed by. The reason of that is simple: all the drivers are there the money is: in the City. No one wants to stay in far suburbs and lose time and money. We all have families to feed.
The only solution as I see it is offering some permanent payment to drivers who commit themselves to stay in definite area and come back every time after completing the job. There are lot of technical details to think about, but I don't know how else this conflict of interests can be solved.

peter fullston > Maria Maximova

04 Jul 2015

here in Mt Gambier s.a we only have 3 taxi stands , 2 are main stands and we use these as bases so we have to return to these stands all day and night for free , this is where old people know we will return to so they gather here to be taken home or elsewhere , so i think if you drop off in a certain area you should spend so0me time on the local rank and you never know you might get a big fare.

Anthony Davidson

02 Jul 2015

Hi Maria.
I totally agree. No super. No sick pay. No paid holidays. Who would bother if they could find something else.