Transport Minister Eric Charlton today announced the State's Government's plan to release 20 peak period restricted taxi plates to help ease problems associated with servicing the public during high demand times.
"As a result of the on-going review of the taxi industry and the search for ways to improve efficiency and capacity to cope effectively with peak demand times, I propose to release the 20 peak period restricted taxi plates for tender in the next few weeks," Mr Charlton said.
He said the plates would have different characteristics from previous plate issues and would be restricted to current owner/drivers and then:
· only for owner/drivers who operated the taxi for at least 50 per cent of the available times of operation themselves;
· could not be transferred within three years and then could only be sold to another owner/driver;
· the owner/driver must be a member of a Taxi Despatch Service and must not operate from the casino or airport unless directed there by a TDS;
· must be in the name of a natural person, not a company or trust, etc; and -
· must be placed on a vehicle of the same standards as the current peak period vehicles.
"The decision to select only owner/drivers is also a significant one because I am convinced that owner/drivers will provide the highest level of customer service, as they have a personal investment in the industry and care about the day-to-day operations of their taxis," the Minister said.
"I am also keen to provide the opportunity for drivers to aspire to owning their own business, by purchasing a plate and vehicle and then operating it themselves."
Mr Charlton said the release of the plates was part of a work-plan designed to position the industry for the upcoming Competition Policy Review and involves Transport, the Taxi Industry Board and the industry.
Media contact: Doug Cunningham 9321 2222