Taxi Talk December 2014


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December 2014 / January 2015 edition

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TAXI TALK ISSUE NO 560 December 2014 / January 2015 TAXI VOICE OF THE TAXI INDUSTRY MAGAZINE Official journal of the Victorian Taxi Association Print Post Approved number 100004912 VOICE OF THE TAXI INDUSTRY Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays and a prosperous 2015 We wish you a safe, healthy and happy Festive Season


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INSIDE... 4 6 12 8 16 26 34 42 President’s message A message from VTA President, Kevin Gange TAXI VOICE OF THE TAXI INDUSTRY MAGAZINE OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE VICTORIAN TAXI ASSOCIATION MAGAZINE EDITOR ........................ Toni F. Peters VTA EDITOR ....................................David Samuel FOUNDER ....................................Stanley F. White PUBLISHER ..................Trade Promotions Pty Ltd Victorian Taxi Association editorial Vital elements for our industry’s future 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: ................................ VTA social networking VTA is now on Instagram and Facebook Working Christmas and New Year DISPLAY ADVERTISEMENTS 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 A guide to making the most out of this festive season SUBSCRIPTION DETAILS New Mega Rank in Bourke Street, Melbourne 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. Taxi Services Commission Updates on issues affecting the Victorian Taxi Industry 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 Christmas Is it a joyful time or a time of loneliness with financial pressure and family stress? Melbourne major events Dates and locations of upcoming major events in Melbourne Phone: 03 9676 2635................ Fax: 03 9676 2643 PRESIDENT .................................... Kevin Gange VICE PRESIDENT ................. Stephen Armstrong CHIEF EXECUTIVE ....................... David Samuel 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. 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 December 2014 / January 2015 |3


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President’s Message This year has seen a great deal of change in the Victorian taxi industry. Naturally much time and effort has been spent by all responding to the implementation of the Government’s reforms and the significant impacts they have had on taxi businesses. The emergence of ‘ride sharing’ in Victoria has also proved confronting in the past 12 months. It is important that we do not underestimate the threat these illegal services provide to the legitimate taxi industry but also look for ways that we all can promote our industry and ensure the highest levels of customer service. This year has also been a special one in the history of the VTA - our 50th anniversary. The Victorian Taxi Association has remained a constant feature on the landscape of the Victorian taxi industry over that time. Though my family’s involvement in the taxi industry pre-dates the formation of the VTA as a stand-alone organisation in 1964, I have borne witness to perhaps a greater degree and pace of change in the industry than the generations who came before me, this year in particular. Recent times have been difficult ones in the Victorian taxi industry, but looking over the history of the VTA and our industry shows we have confronted challenges in the past and continued to diligently service the people who rely on taxis every day. It’s been a tough few years for many and there will be more challenges ahead, however, we encourage you to remain positive and to seek advantages in this period of change. Many thanks to all involved in the Victorian taxi industry for your ongoing hard work and commitment to customer service this year. I would like to wish everyone in the Victorian taxi industry a Merry Christmas and hope you all have a very productive December and enjoy the opportunity to spend time with family and friends. D Kevin Gange VTA PRESIDENT 8 | December 2014 / January 2015 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry


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Schmidt G5 Taximeter 01 TARIFF $ Tap to Pause $ TOLLS 5.10 TOTAL FARE 48.50 $ Tap to Add SN 123456 CITY LINK 2.00 EXTRAS 1-4 PPL FARE 1-4 PPL SUBSIDY Coming in 2015 $35.00 $17.50 the air rate changes and software upgrades The revolutionary G5 taximeter will plus the upload of all shift report data via 3G or be available when the Taxi Services PASSENGER TO PAY WIFI. Via secure internet log-in, taxi operators Commission completes its major redraft have access to all shift report details in addition of taximeter requirements. This signi cant to current taximeter status. Drivers also have overhall and rewrite of Victorian the signi cant convenience of secure log-in taximeter requirements is expected to access to their individual shift reports. be nalised in early 2015. Shortly after these requirements are complete, the G5 Incorporated into this powerful taximeter, is an will be released to the market. Infused with intuitive touch-screen navigation, the G5 is the most user friendly taximeter ever developed. Advanced features range from automated road tolling, to capture and storage of complete taxi activity. This includes the details of every fare taken and the entire location, speed, acceleration and braking history of the taxi. Direct communication with the internet, takes this taximeter to the next level. This allows over 17.50 $ SN 123456 optional Passenger Detection System which starts the taximeter automatically when a passenger enters the taxi, thereby ensuring that every taxi fare is metered. Communication is made simple, as the G5 easily connects with multiple EFTPOS terminals, dispatch systems, printers, passenger information displays and much more. Revolutionise your business with the powerful, Schmidt G5 taximeter. Schmidt Electronic Laboratories Pty Ltd Phone (03) 9546 6990 or 1300 132 422 | Email | Website Address 153 Osborne Avenue, Clayton South, VIC 3169 | ABN 20 005 631 710 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry December 2014 / January 2015 |9


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Vital elements for our industry’ Wishing you all a safe and Merry Christmas. As always, I hope you manage to get some time to spend with your families and those you are close to. David Samuel VTA CEO


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By the time you read this we will know the result of the State Election held on 29 November. At this point in time there still doesn’t appear to be a clear leader in the race and as always I assume the result will be a close one. The Victorian Taxi Association (VTA) is committed to working with whichever party wins. The VTA were, however, pleased with some of the announcements made by the Labor Party spokeswoman on transport Jill Hennessey. The ALP appear to be making five key commitments. In no particular order they can be summarised as: 1. The establishment of ministerial forum - for a genuine discussion between taxi users, the industry and government. 2. The removal of the sunset clause on the TSC’s ability to restrict entry to the industry - as many would be aware the current ability of the TSC to restrict entry to the industry is removed after three years of the current legislation coming into effect. 3. A hardship provision which is aimed at assisting those licence holders most affected by the Governments reforms - the fund is capped at $4 million. 4. An intention to resolve issues that relate to the setting of fares by co-operative Taxi Booking Services (TBS) in regional Victoria. 5. A commitment to ensure a level playing field for all competitors and potential competitors - this part of the announcement clearly addresses the emergence of illegal ride share providers in our state. The key focus for the VTA remains licence numbers, 45/55 and the Knowledge. Since I last wrote, the VTA has developed a new model bailment agreement and we are currently working on Model Network Rules to assist country and regional members. I can also report that we secured final authorisation from ACCC for affected country and regional members. We have finalised our 45/55 accountancy project and the results can be found on our website. We continue working on ways the Knowledge can be improved, however, progress here is slow, which is concerning given the potential impact on the industry and the lives of those drivers who have been accredited in the past five years. We have also started to do a lot of communications, including entering into a partnership with St John Ambulance, to provide free taxi trips to revellers at major events who might find themselves in trouble (not those who require medical assistance). Keep your eye out for a significant digital advertising campaign, a new website and generally more engagement in the social media space. Drivers, make sure you like our Facebook page for taxi drivers so you can get up-to-date information. Search for ‘Vic Taxi Drivers’ in Facebook. D December 2014 / January 2015 ’s future |7


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REGION update When my daughter got her first job after graduating university I was elated. Out of 3500 applicants she achieved this amazing feat. Imagine how I felt when she turned the job down? “Are you crazy? Have I raised and educated an imbecile?” I said to her. It was then that I was introduced to how life and the work force had changed since I was a humble shop assistant. Her answer to me was, “It was an experience to go to the interview and know I performed well and know that I’m able to get a good job.” She shrugged her shoulders at the look of total disbelief on my face and continued doing whatever it is that they do when they finish uni. Luckily she’s all grown up and has had several jobs, all of which she’s excelled at. The moral of this story? Things are different in the work force now, no longer do you loyally serve one employer for your entire working life and retire with a gold watch and a pocket full of super. I read not long ago that the average person will have up to 12 jobs in their life. I’ve come to the realisation over the last couple of years in the taxi industry that the same situation has evolved for us as taxi operators (permit holders) and licence owners. I’ll take you back again to when you first bought your taxi licence. A great feeling - every dollar you earned came back to you, the family or the bank. Normal every day, hard work is what you did, and what for? For me it was a ten year plan, work the taxi with my hubby, pay off the loan and mortgage, educate the kids then back off a bit. Have a holiday once a year and perhaps cut down working so many days. The great Australian dream didn’t seem unachievable. But things kept on changing and the ten year plan quickly turned into 20 then 30 years. Like everyone else, I thought it would all be okay at the end of the road. Hard work is always rewarded - wrong! The changes have been implemented and we have to regroup. I, for one, am not giving up. By now I should have had only one licence and be enjoying my semi retirement. Now my hubby is back working extra days and we’re back fighting those coming into the industry via the back door. Let’s dig our toes in and work a little harder, don’t give up and don’t give the establishment the satisfaction of reducing the value on your licences. We still have a valuable asset so don’t look at it as a burden, just another obstacle. There’s one thing we still have over them – we’ll still be here when they are gone. When things get tough just think about the first fare you did in your taxi and how that felt. Be optimistic the sun will rise tomorrow and all the other clichés. Honestly it would drive a girl to drink. Oops too late! Take it easy. Jenny Trewin D 8 | December 2014 / January 2015 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry


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Well done VTA for all your hard work Merry Christmas Perserverance, there is no substitute for the hard work that has been put in during the past years and the work that is yet to be done in the future. Happy and safe Christmas and New Year. Celebrate safely. Allen Lang M: 0418 343431 E:


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DRIVER DINNER at the VTA The VTA hosted a dinner for night drivers to celebrate the end of the year at the VTA in Port Melbourne in November, before things ramp up for the festive season. Over 60 drivers dropped by and enjoyed the Thai cuisine supplied by the White Guy Cooks Thai food truck on a balmy Spring night. This event followed a successful lunch for day drivers in October. Both events provided opportunities for drivers to socialise with one another and talk to VTA staff about various issues and upcoming events. The VTA holds driver events throughout the year as a way to acknowledge the hard work taxi drivers do - most often without much thanks. The VTA is planning a number of events throughout 2015, so keep an ear out and get involved. Make sure you are the first to know by liking our Facebook page – ‘Vic Taxi Drivers’. D 10 | December 2014 / January 2015 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry


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www S EASON ’ S G R E ET I N GS VHA 35K Wishing Everyone A Very Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year To All The Industry ALEXTAXIS VHA .com TAXI HO HO HO Merry CHrISTMAS MT $283 T O MT $288 FOR ALL ALEX TAXIS & METRO CLUB MEMBERS FRI 19th DEC 11am to 2pm No Joining Fee For New Metro Club Members Lucky Door Prizes To Be Won Halal Meat Provided CHRISTMAS BBQ > > > > > > Prompt repairs carried out well equipped workshop in tottenham Quick repairs to put back on the road ASAP SMALLER > you BRIGHTER > FASTER Genuine parts used Get rewarded for no claims and not at fault claims Third party property / public liability cover 30 Million VH NO AC W OV ER Metro Club Taxi Cover > Fastest recovery for loss of income Alex tAxis mobile eftpos ATB FOR ALL YOUR TAXI COVER 119 Errol St Nth Melb Call Chantel 9348 9507


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SOCIAL networking The VTA have started an Instagram account, aimed at the taxi industry and featuring taxi related images. Follow us @victaxis. Have a photo you’d like us to post? Email any images of your vehicles, staff, drivers or customers (with their permission) that you would like us to post to admin@victaxi. We want the account to reflect the diversity of taxi businesses across Victoria, so get involved. D The VTA have created a Facebook page for Victorian taxi drivers which features posts about relevant industry news, dates for VTA driver events, international news and some fun stuff too. Like the page to get posts and updates! It’s also a great way for us to keep you up to date about activities and initiatives the VTA are running to promote the industry. Drivers are the face of the industry and no promotional campaign can be successful without your support. It offers another platform for the VTA to get important messages to drivers, including those related to driver accreditation and the Knowledge. Search for ‘Vic Taxi Drivers’ in Facebook and ‘like’ the page. D GAFFNEY WHEELS & TYRES NEW TAXI TYRES l Hankook l Nexen l Wanli l Blue Streak l Minerva l Goform l Rotalla l Maxxis l Bridgestone l Dunlop l Achilles FREE Wheel Alignment and Balancing Free when you purchase and fit 4 new taxi tyres Free rotation after 10,000 kms 2nd hand tyres from $40 Phone 9350 7265 116 Gaffney Street COBURG Open Mon-Fri 8am-6pm Sat 9am-3pm 12| December 2014 / January 2015 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry all prices include GST 195 60R15 ..................$85 215 60R16 ..................$75 225 60R16 ................$105 225 55R17 ................$115 225 50R17 ................$115 235 45R17 ................$100 235 60R17 (4WD TAXI) ..$135 195 R15LT ................$100 195 R14LT ..................$90 185 R14LT .................$80 Taxi Service from .....................$70 Taxi Brakes from .....................$70 Wheel Alignment ....................$25 Wheel Balance Steel ...............$5 Wheel Balance Aluminium ....$10 Puncture Repairs................... $15 SPECIALS REPLACE WINDSCREEN from $150 $ 135


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Drivers of the Month Silver Service drivers... Om Prakash and Richie Singh Om Prakash came to Australia from North India when he was 3 months old. He has been driving Silver Service for three years. He says that 133100 is a great company to work for, everyone is very helpful especially the customer service team. Richie Singh moved to Melbourne from Sydney 8 months ago. Richie prefers to drive during the day and believes the industry needs a special car made as a taxi with secure driver compartment.


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MARKETING online campaign The VTA are currently preparing a promotional campaign which will be supported by digital advertisements, a dedicated website, taxi trip giveaways and competitions. The aims are to position taxis as a central part of any great night out, day at the races or Christmas party and to encourage people to talk about taxis on social media using the hash tag #TaxiTrippin. You may start to see Cabcharge gift cards with the TaxiTrippin branding that customers have received or won through a competition. If you do, please encourage them to talk about their experiences on social media using the hash tag (#TaxiTrippin) and make sure you give them the royal treatment! The advertising and website go live in the coming weeks. Join us on Facebook to keep up to date – ‘Vic Taxi Drivers’. D VTA elections 2014/15 VTA EXECUTIVE COUNCIL VTA COUNCIL Metropolitan Zone Arrow Taxis Michael Thomson Black Cabs Combined Stuart Overell CABiT Chris Sikavitsas North Suburban Taxis Greg Hardeman Silver Top Taxis Kevin F Gange, Andrew Gilmartin, Kevin M Gange, Philip Humphreys, Nicos Andrianakis, Alf Gange, Teresa Saldias West Suburban Taxis Mark D’Amico Geelong Zone Geelong Taxi Network Peter Valentine Ballarat Zone Ballarat Taxis Stephen Armstrong Bendigo Zone Bendigo Taxis Patrick Holahan Country Regions Western Jan Uebergang North Western Tuna Guclu North Eastern Alan Bemrose Gippsland Carmen Giddens Stephen Armstrong Kevin F Gange Vice President Outer Suburban Zone Dandenong Taxis Nirmal Sekhon Frankston Cabs Kevin Dunn President together with Stuart Overall, Andrew Gilmartin, Peter Valentine, Greg Hardeman, Nirmal Sekhon Operators Collective Councillor Kristine Mitchell 14 | December 2014 / January 2015 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry


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Metropolitan Taxi Club New Bou Metropolitan Taxi Club TAXI COVER lbourne au D PROTECTION We provide:- Comprehensive Insurance Third Party & Public Liability Insurance (QBE Insurance up to $32,500,000) • • • • • • FREE legal advice NO joining fee FAST claims recovery FAST repair turn-around GENUINE replacement parts LOWER annual contributions 360 BRUNSWICK ROAD BRUNSWICK Merry Christmas a Happy New Yearnd to all our valued members and customers. We look forward to fruitful and faith ful years to come in doing business wi th you. PHONE 9388 0722 BRUNSWICK ROAD COLLISION CENTRE (Melbourne) • • • Taxi resprays from $1200 (conditions apply) Quality jobs Quick repair time EMAIL OR MORELAND TAXIS P/L • • • Taxi shifts available (day and night) New and clean taxis 24/7 roadside assistance BRUNSWICK ROAD COLLISION MECHANIC CENTRE • • Low prices Fast services Contact Ibrahim Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry 0422 431 823 or 9380 9935 Contact Daniel or Ibrahim 9388 1425 or 9388 0722 Contact Jel 9388 1425 or 9388 0722 December 2014 / January 2015 | 29



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