Taxi Talk November 2014


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Taxi Talk magazine November 2014 edition

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TAXI TALK November 2014 ISSUE NO 559 VOICE OF THE TAXI INDUSTRY 2013 Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente ridden by Damien Oliver. Photo: Wayne Taylor TAXI VOICE OF THE TAXI INDUSTRY MAGAZINE Official journal of the Victorian Taxi Association Print Post Approved number 100004912 MELBOURNE CUP CARNIVAL 1, 4, 6 & 8 NOVEMBER The Melbourne Cup Carnival is the highlight of the Spring Racing Carnival and is held over four days at Flemington Racecourse. Known as the race that stops the nation, the Emirates Melbourne Cup race is held annually on the first Tuesday of November at 3pm. With prize money of $6.2 million, it is the richest handicap race in the world. The winner is also awarded an 18 carat gold Emirates Melbourne Cup trophy valued at $175,000! Around 330,000 racegoers converge on Flemington Racecourse every year. Will you be one of them?


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T A X I M E D I A Enquire now: Steve Wightman 03 9982 0719 ROVA Taxi Media supplies in excess of $2.2 million to owners and operators of taxis throughout Australia each year. Now available in over 112 locations Australia wide, we provide our clients with maximum reach and frequency advertising solutions. • ROVA fits & fully maintains struts, modules & panels. • • • • • WE OFFER PLUS GST/YEAR We fit a wide variety of cars. On roads service means no inconvenience to you. Our modules and their content meet all Transport Regulations. Any broken or damaged units are repaired at our cost. We source all advertising for display $600 02 9807 2644


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INSIDE... 4 6 8 16 18 22 35 Victorian Taxi Association editorial Taxi business model needs to be customer focussed TAXI VOICE OF THE TAXI INDUSTRY MAGAZINE OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE VICTORIAN TAXI ASSOCIATION The Knowledge for taxi drivers who are renewing their DA MAGAZINE EDITOR ........................ Toni F. Peters VTA EDITOR ....................................David Samuel FOUNDER ....................................Stanley F. White PUBLISHER ..................Trade Promotions Pty Ltd VTA 2014 Conference New Mega Rank ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES Trade Promotions Pty Ltd 42 Grenfell Road, Mt Waverley VIC 3149 PO Box 2345, Mt Waverley VIC 3149 Phone: ............................................. 03 9807 0237 Email: ................................... Website: ................................ A wrap up of this year’s conference and dinner in Bourke Street, Melbourne DISPLAY ADVERTISEMENTS Licence statistics Taxi and hire car licence and assignment statistics for last month All copy, editorial and artwork must be in by the 15th of the month prior to publication date. Advertisement sizes and rates can be viewed at Taxi Services Commission Updates on issues affecting the Victorian Taxi Industry SUBSCRIPTION DETAILS 1 year = $35 CLASSIFIED ADVERTISEMENTS $30 for 35 words, $60 for 70 words, etc. Email or Mail your classified advertisement by the 15th of the month prior to publication date, together with your payment. Road Closures Dates and locations of various roads closed in Melbourne PAYMENT OPTIONS • • • Via PAYPAL to Direct Deposit to BSB 033065 A/c 312786 Mail Cheque to Trade Promotions Pty Ltd PO Box 2345, Mt Waverley VIC 3149 Want to know as soon as Taxi Talk is uploaded to our website? Become a member of, and you will get an email immediately the next edition has been uploaded. Register at auth/signup Taxi Talk magazine, a monthly publication for the Victorian taxi industry, is published by Trade Promotions Pty Ltd in collaboration with the Victorian Taxi Association Inc (VTA). The VTA is the peak industry body in Victoria, fostering the interests and wellbeing of taxi-cab drivers, taxi-cab permit holders and Taxi Booking Services across the state. Taxi Talk magazine is wholly owned by Trade Promotions Pty Ltd. COPYRIGHT © Trade Promotions Pty Ltd 2014. All rights reserved. The “Taxi Talk – Voice of the taxi industry” heading and logos are trademarks of Stanley F. White. Copyright of articles and photographs of Taxi Talk magazine remain with the individual contributors and may not be reproduced without permission. Views expressed in any article in Taxi Talk are those of the individual contributor and not necessarily those of the publisher. The publisher cannot accept any responsibility for any opinions, information, errors or omissions in this publication. To the extent permitted by law, the publisher will not be liable for any damages including special, exemplary, punitive or consequential damages (including but not limited to economic loss or loss of profit or revenue or loss of opportunity) or indirect loss or damage of any kind arising from the contract, tort or otherwise, even if advised of the possibility of such loss of profits or damage. Advertisements must comply with the relevant provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. Responsibility for compliance with the Act rests with the person, company or advertising agency submitting the advertisement. Phone: 03 9676 2635................ Fax: 03 9676 2643 PRESIDENT .................................... Kevin Gange VICE PRESIDENT ................. Stephen Armstrong CHIEF EXECUTIVE ....................... David Samuel Taxi Talk has agreed to advertise taxi clubs because those clubs have stated that they and their products comply with all applicable laws and regulations relating to insurance for taxi operators. Neither Taxi Talk nor VTA has independently verified these taxi clubs’ compliance, and they give no warranty and make no representation as to whether the taxi clubs are compliant. Operators should satisfy themselves as to a taxi club’s compliance with laws and regulations through their own enquiries. These advertisements do not constitute recommendations by Taxi Talk or VTA that operators purchase insurance products from taxi clubs. Neither Taxi Talk nor VTA accept any liability or responsibility for any loss or damage suffered or incurred by any operator because a taxi club or its product or service is non-compliant. Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry November 2014 |3


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Taxi business model needs to be CUSTOMER FOCUSSED N David Samuel VTA CEO ovember is traditionally a very busy month for the taxi industry, as we safely transport thousands of spring racing carnival revellers throughout our state. I know as an industry we will provide excellent service during the silly season but do so under increasing pressure from emerging providers. The challenges that confront us particularly relate to a continuing lack of clarity in relation to Ride Share. In my view, there are too many opinions not strong enough leadership. Even in a reactive time our political leaders must still show leadership, take a balanced approach and do what is in the public interest, not simply respond to what the public are interested in. This is a question of strategic leadership at a political level. We have the right to ask our government for a clear understanding of how they intend to shape 4 | November 2014


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the regulatory structures that affect our businesses going forward, and we intend to do that. The VTA will do everything in our power to obtain this clarity. In the meantime, we need to focus on what we can do. Chiefly, we must find ways to better engage with our community. At the end of the day, one of our best defences against the things that most threaten the sustainability of our industry is a community that is happy to advocate on our behalf and want to use our service because they are satisfied with the job we are doing. I see a fundamental role here for the VTA and we have plans for various PR activities promoting this industry heading to the Christmas period. We must be the industry’s advocate in the public sphere and, with your help, shift public perceptions about what we do and how well we do it. In political terms it is my resolute view that the strongest lobbyist is a community that values you - this simply reduces the incen- tive for a political actor to want to do things you may not want to have done. All of this goes to the situation we find ourselves in today, how we can get change for the better and just as importantly, how we are going to ensure we shape reform going forward, and aren’t victims of it. I believe it is absolutely critical that the industry regains control of narrative about the service we provide. At the end of the day it is this narrative that will shape the expectations of our customers and determine, in their eyes, whether we succeed or fail. This in turn will help shape the public discussion and any political response. We will continue to rally against those who seek to effectively compete with our businesses while ignoring the laws and regulations we follow, we will work with government wherever possible, but at the same time we will ask for respect and demand laws and regulations that allow us to deliver a first class taxi service for all Victorians. D VTA ANNUAL LUNCH 12 noon Thursday 4 December Carousel 22 Aughtie Drive Albert Park Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry SAVE THE DATE Bringing together taxi operators, networks, former industry participants, industry suppliers, transport industry colleagues and representatives from Government, to mark the end of the year. The VTA is proud to have Rova Media, Cabcharge, Toyota and Sprintgas & Unigas on board as 2014 VTA 50 Year Gold Sponsors. Invitations will be sent out soon and details will be available on the VTA website at November 2014 |5


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THE KNOWLEDGE for renewing drivers Did you get your Driver Accreditation (DA) after 1 July 2009? Then, you’ll need to pass the Knowledge to keep your DA. The Taxi Services Commission have introduced new driver accreditation requirements. • Renewing metropolitan drivers – will have to pass 2 Knowledge modules (driver behaviour & geographical assessment) Renewing urban drivers – will have to pass 1 Knowledge module (driver behaviour) If your DA was issued in 2009 2010 July - December January - October November - December January – 15 February 16 February - December January - December January - October November - December January – 15 February 16 February – December Renew your DA and pass the Knowledge by Date DA first issued, 2015 Date DA first issued, 2016 Date DA first issued, 2014 Date DA first issued, 2015 Same date, 9 months later Date DA first issued, 2015 Date DA first issued, 2016 Date DA first issued, 2014 Date DA first issued, 2015 Same date, 9 months later 2011 2012 2013 2014 • You can attempt each module twice in 12 months. Regardless of your experience, training is recommended for renewing drivers to prepare for the Knowledge - speak to your network. D 6 | November 2014 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry


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2014 VTA CONFERENCE & GALA DINNER CELEBRATING 50 YEARS 23 -24 SEPTEMBER 2014 CONFERENCE - LANGHAM HOTEL, SOUTHBANK / GALA - ZINC, FEDERATION SQUARE In September, the VTA held its 50th Anniversary Conference at the Langham Hotel in Melbourne. Attended by over 150 delegates, sponsors, exhibitors and speakers, the conference program featured a great mix of operational information and engaging presenters from a variety of fields. Renowned Victorian, former Premier, Jeff Kennett delivered a special message via video to open the conference. He commended the industry and sent words of support to all those involved. VTA CEO, David Samuel discussed the VTA’s operational focus for what lays ahead, while acknowledging where the industry has come from. Given the pace of implementation of the first tranche of reforms, it was insightful to hear firsthand from Marnie Williams, CEO of the Taxi Services Commission. Other highlights on day one included an address by the City of Melbourne and presentations on social media, insurance and the Knowledge. Chris Culph from 13CABS, the winner of the 2014 VTA Industry Award, was highly commended for his work and commitment to the industry over many years. The Gala Dinner, sponsored by Rova, Cabcharge, Toyota and Sprintgas & UNIGAS, held at Zinc in Federation Square, was a wonderful event to mark the VTA’s 50th year. More than 160 guests gathered on a warm Melbourne evening and heard Deputy Mayor Susan Riley, the keynote speaker, offer her reflections on the role of the taxi industry in maintaining the vibrancy of the City of Melbourne. Ms Riley has a number of personal connections to the industry with her husband being a former taxi driver and operator, and the Lord Mayor also a former cabbie. Chris Culph 2014 VTA Industry Award winner 8 | November 2014 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry


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The VTA’s 50th Anniversary Retrospective book was launched. This publication highlights some of the VTA’s colourful history and each guest received a complimentary copy of the book. Live music, a cuff link presentation and some reflections of the past 50 years by Stephen Armstrong, Ballarat Taxis Chairman and VTA Vice President, made it a memorable event and marked a milestone year for the Association. The discussion panel of taxi association representatives from New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria on the second day was an opportunity for the industry to present their ideas and thoughts on pressing issues within the national context. A session by Vic Roads focussed on challenges for the road network and the 2014-15 VicRoads roads program together with a presentation on a national public relations campaign on behalf of the ATIA to promote the taxi industry, concluded the conference on day two. The VTA is grateful to all our sponsors and exhibitors, without whom the conference would not have been possible. The attendance and contribution by VTA members and industry participants was constructive and valuable. We look forward to working again with our Gold Sponsors; Rova, Cabcharge, Toyota and Sprintgas & UNIGAS in holding the VTA Annual Luncheon on Thursday 4 December at the Carousel in Albert Park. Save the date! D David Samuel VTA CEO, Susan Riley Deputy Mayor, Kevin Gange VTA President DRIVER PROTECTION SCREEN Australian Patents:676005, 2009100400 Martin Bodyguard II - Protection for your driver "Peace of mind" for your drivers family Now Available - TSC APPROVED MODELS Ford FG - all variants inc Curtain Airbag Models Toyota Hiace - 2011+ (some exceptions apply) Brand New! Toyota Camry - 2012+ all variants including Curtain Airbag Models Our Multi Patented Design is still the best value for money investment you can make for your drivers physical safety. 9 Springbank Street, Tullamarine, Victoria, 3043 Australia. Email: Web: THE TAXI SPECIALIST SINCE 1947 Tel: 61 3 9335 1551 61 3 9335 1552 Fax: 61 3 9335 1553 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry November 2014 |9


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COUNTRY FARES ACCC authorisation The VTA are very pleased to report that our application for authorisation from the ACCC has been granted. This means, operators who form part of multi-operator networks in country and regional taxi licence zones are permitted to come to an agreement at a network level as to the maximum fares for booked and contracted work in the areas that they service until December 2017. This does not mean individual operators are in any way limited from offering alternative rates, set rate fares or special event rates, in addition to or instead of the maximum fares of the network. Thanks to the introduction of price notification in country and regional areas, operators were seen as competitors under competition law and thus this authorisation was vital to maintain the integrity of networks in regional towns and the efficiencies for customers and contractors that they provide. More detailed information will be provided to affected members. The VTA would like to express thanks to all those involved in the application and consultation processes, including Joe Dimasi, affected VTA members, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Taxi Services Commission. D Driver of the Month November’s Driver of the Month is George Karamoskos. George has been driving for 30 years as a loyal driver for Silver Top Taxis. He started driving part-time for Embassy to earn some “bread and butter” as a young family man. George’s sense of humour and animated personality makes him extremely popular with all of his passengers. He prefers driving during the day and his favourite passengers are elderly ladies, because they appreciate and value him and his work. D 10 | November 2014 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry


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William Street bicycle lane upgrade Works are scheduled to commence by early November 2014 on the upgraded bicycle lanes on William Street in the CBD. The additional bike lane means that there are changes to the taxi rank situated on William Street. The design proposes chevron separated bicycle lanes to the right of parked cars to operate at all times along the majority of William Street. More parking spaces will be available during peak hours as clearway restrictions will be reduced in the proposed design. Modelling suggests that travel times for motorists will increase by approximately 5-10 percent as a result of the clearway removal. The bike lane will generally be 1.5 metres wide. Chevron line marking will separate the bike lane from moving traffic and opened car doors, where roadway width permits. The width of the bike lane often reduces on the approach to intersections in order to maintain two traffic lanes. D TAXI finance We are accredited with over 30 banks and other lenders EASY CAR LOAN APPROVALS... NO TAX RETURNS REQUIRED* * conditions apply cheap rates best service fast approvals GAP COVER AVAILABLE cheap finance rates... ALL TAXI LICENCES & VHA CAR FINANCE all taxi vehicles (cars and vans, VHA vehicles, limos and others) $ 30,000 yarrafinance experts in commercial finance Phone 96 Garden Road, Clayton (near Ikea) 9561 8876 12| November 2014 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry


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DVA contracts using online services Doing business with Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) online may save you time and effort. DVA Transport Online Services is a secure internet portal which provides online access to DVA’s national transport booking and invoicing system. The current system, Secure Online Communication Services (SOCS), is being de-commissioned by DVA soon. Contracted transport providers can use DVA Transport Online Services to receive, view and manage their transport bookings for veteran passengers and to submit their invoices for work completed. The advantages of using DVA Transport Online Services to receive and manage bookings over other methods include: • • • • Convenient – download bookings at a time that suits you Traceable – three month booking history online Efficient – generate and submit accurate invoices online, quickly and easily Better for veterans – efficient system means better service delivered • • • Handing back a booking for allocation to another Transport Provider; Recording a Did Not Travel when the passenger does not show; Searching a three month booking history, and current and future bookings which have been dispatched to you; Updating business details, for example contact details and fleet information; and, Determining how the DVA sends you your bookings. • • How to register DVA contracted transport provider must first obtain an AUSkey. AUSkey is your security pass to log in to a range of business transactions on Australian government websites. The process takes approximately 15 minutes and will require transport providers to enter their business details, etc. If you already submit your Business Activity Statements online to the Taxation Office you may already have an AUSkey. If not, AUSkey can be found at the following website: www.abr. Once AUSkey is installed as per the instructions from the AUSkey website, contracted transport providers should then go to the DVA site at: and follow the links for Transport Providers. With DVA Transport Online Services, transport providers can manage the way they do business with DVA, such as: • • Downloading the dispatch file; Viewing allocated bookings online; Want to know more? Further information about DVA guidelines for contracted transport providers can be found at: D 14 | November 2014 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry


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