Short fares at the airport

Taxis, trams, buses etc
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Short fares at the airport

Postby Hardy » Fri May 03, 2013 8:17 pm ... 6634223708

The taxi problems at Melbourne Airport are a direct result of the airport accommodating all the drivers who flock there in the hope of getting a big fare, and actively helping them try to get a big fare. There used to be a single holding yard and queue that accommodated about 350 taxis. Drivers used to wait up to an hour to get a fare.


As more and more drivers wanted to hit the jack-pot of a $85 fare to Dandenong, the rank overflowed and taxis were queuing down Melrose Drive.

In order to deal with over-crowding at the Airport rank, about 10 years ago the government built a new taxi holding yard to accommodate nearly 700 cars.

To pay for the new holding yard, the government charged the taxi drivers, and then allowed the taxis to add $2.00 to each fare out of the airport.
The benefit of the new rank is that it gave taxi drivers a place to park while they had a feed and cleaned their cab or had a nap, and it stopped taxis from queuing down Melrose Drive.

The fact that drivers regularly wait about 2 hours to get a fare shows that the airport is over-supplied with taxis. The airport rank has the capacity to hold over 1000 taxis - which are parked doing nothing at all - while people elsewhere in Melbourne are struggling to find a cab. It is astonishing that the government has encouraged taxis to be parked in a 1000 car queue instead of being available for use outside the airport. And at the same time the government is increasing the numbers of taxis on the road to try to meet demand.

One way to meet demand would be scrap the 700 car holding yard at the airport and force those drivers to provide taxi services outside the airport. The present disruption at the airport centres on the abolition of the practice of allowing drivers with short fares to jump the queue and get a second fare to make up for the fact that they have been waiting for hours.

Once the queue-jumpimng policy is abolished, those drivers that don't want to wait for hours just to get a short fare will leave the airport rank. The main complaint seems to be that it is unfair to wait for 2 hours just to earn $10. Well, the obvious response to that is that none of those drivers are forced to queue for 2 hours. They gladly do it. if the short-fare queue jumping policy is abolished, the rank will reduce to a size that justifies a wait for a potential short fare. For so long as there is a practice of insuring the drivers against risk of getting a short fare after a 2 hour wait, drivers will continue to flock to the airport rank.

How often has it happened that a passenger has disembarked at Melbourne Airport and there has not been a taxi available? You would need 10 jumbos to arrive at once to deplete the taxi queue. Australian Customs and Immigration is incapable of disgorging passengers fast enough to deplete the supply of taxis.

Another option would be to auction the right to service the airport - i.e. not allow every taxi to enter the rank. It would be better to scrap the $2 surcharge and just allow 1000 taxis to have the right to enter the rank and charge them an annual fee for that right - and oblige them all to take short fares and long fares - and not allow other cabs to enter the rank unless it is getting empty. The downside of this is that some drivers will be taking a fare to the airport but will not be allowed to pick up a fare once they get there.

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Re: Short fares at the airport

Postby Day » Fri May 03, 2013 8:34 pm

Have you considered going into politics?! Silly idea... Sense becomes not the politician.. :mrgreen:

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Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 12:46 pm

Re: Short fares at the airport

Postby allde » Sat May 04, 2013 10:07 am

What would really piss them off, if our Gumberment started introducing Mini Cabs to make up the lack of cabs, since there all in the Car Park at Tulla..... :wink:

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Re: Short fares at the airport

Postby Slattery » Wed May 22, 2013 11:08 pm

Or build some public transport infrastructure...

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Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:43 pm

Re: Short fares at the airport

Postby Mode100 » Thu May 23, 2013 11:22 pm

I used to have a client in Alexandra NSW..... I would always have to prep myself getting off the plane for the response from the poor driver who had been queuing up for an hour or so for a $10 fair (probably closer to $20 now).... I'm not going to walk it!

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