Taxi Talk February 2014


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For Victorian Taxi Owners, Drivers and Operators

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TAXI TALK FEBRUARY ISSUE NO 550 VOICE OF THE TAXI INDUSTRY Official journal of the Victorian Taxi Association Print Post Approved number 100004912 2014 Chinese New Year Year of the Horse People born in the Year of the Horse are clever, kind, animated and energetic. Although they sometimes talk too much, they are cheerful, perceptive, talented and love to be in the centre of a crowd. They are popular among friends, active at work and have a deft sense of humour.


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INSIDE THIS ISSUE 4 14 17 Victorian Taxi Association editorial Gippsland Drum Licence statistics Taxi and hire car licence statistics for last month ............................................................................ It’s time common sense prevails ............................................................................ From Carmen Giddens ............................................................................ 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 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: ................................ 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 SUBSCRIPTION DETAILS 1 year = $33 CLASSIFIED ADVERTISEMENTS 22 26 32 36 Driver fatigue Driver workout Taxi Services Commission A health and safety risk to taxi drivers ............................................................................ $25 for 30 words, $50 for 60 words, etc. Email or Mail your classified advertisement by the 15th of the month prior to publication date, together with your payment. 24 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 Exercising in and out of your taxi ............................................................................ ............................................................................ Updates on issues affecting the Victorian Taxi Industry Taxi drivers see green ............................................................................ As new cabs cruise outside Manhattan Monthly calendar ............................................................................ Major events in and around 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 operators and taxi-cab Network Service Providers 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.


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common sense Royal Taxis have been great contributors to the Victorian taxi industry and the Victorian community more broadly. The demise of this long-standing family business has sent shudders through the industry. It represents the third largest operator to go under in the past three years. Unsustainably low taxi fares, which have remained unchanged since 2008 and are now 10 per cent lower than CPI and 30 per cent behind comparable Australian states, have had a significant impact on the continuing viability of taxi businesses. This type of event emphasises this. The VTA has continually warned the Victorian Government about the serious effect challenges such as low fares and high input costs are having on small taxi businesses. Unfortunately commentators, who know little about the practicalities of taxi businesses, repeatedly have their views put ahead of sensible It’s time for to prevail I would like to say happy New Year, but for some 2014 is certainly off to a bumpy start. This does not come as a great surprise, and as I alluded to a number of times late last year, 2014 will certainly be a challenging 12 months. It filled me with great sadness when, in early January, I was informed that Royal Taxis was to close its doors. outcomes. At the end of the day, all theories aside, it is not possible to continue to operate businesses in 2014 at 2008 prices. It is time common sense prevailed. The VTA is concerned that if these issues continue to be left unchecked we will see more operators close their doors with damaging consequences for taxi businesses, taxi drivers and the travelling public. Finally, I would just like to say to Jim and his family that our thoughts are with you during this difficult time. Victoria has lost another great taxi business. In other reform news, two other significant developments include the recent release of the draft design and requirements for the country and regional price notification system and the release of the date for the introduction of the reduced electronic payment surcharge. In relation to the introduction of the Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry David Samuel VTA CEO 4 | February 2014


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cap on electronic payment surcharges, the VTA believes the February 1 deadline should have been extended to give the industry more time to transition and adjust their business to new the arrangements. While the VTA acknowledges that this announcement was made some time ago, it is our view that there has been insufficient consultation regarding this matter with the industry and the approved electronic payment processing companies. The VTA does not support the introduction of an ‘arbitrary’ cap on the electronic processing charge. It remains concerned that if this arbitrary figure is set too low it could remove the incentive for electronic processing companies to provide this service in Victoria in the future. Importantly, encouraging the use of payment via electronic means also helps protect drivers by vastly reducing the amount of cash held in taxis. Given this, combined with the fact that many customers choose to pay electronically, the VTA believes that there is a lot more at stake than many realise. Just prior to Christmas the Taxi Services Commission (TSC) also released their draft design for the price notification system to be rolled out during 2014 in country and regional areas. While I understand that there is a range of views on this matter, the VTA had been broadly supportive of this policy (particularly given the Government’s apparent inability to adjust taxi fares). However, this support was premised on the assumption that the party responsible for fare notification would be the Network, not individual operators. This is particularly relevant to regional areas because as the Taxi industry Inquiry found, over 90% of taxi work in these areas is booked. The VTA has sought an urgent meeting with the TSC to discuss the matter further and will update members when more information becomes available. Unfortunately, the recommendation concerned (page 33 of the Government Response) leaves everyone a bit confused and appears to contradict itself: Price notification is a system where Authorised Taxi Operators (ATOs) are required to notify the TSC and publicly display their taxi fares. Under price notification, operators will set their own fares, but must issue public notices when fares are set and changed. There will be plenty more to tell you 2014 and we encourage you all to stay abreast of what is going on. As always, if you have any concerns or questions please feel free to contact us at the VTA. D HYBRID IS THE FUTURE! VISIT MELBOURNE CITY TOYOTA LOWER YOUR OPERATING COSTS WITH HYBRID AT CAMPAIGN RA E AVAILABL TES* FINANCE 621 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne VIC Call Jennie Mann on 9282 8888 or Email *T.A.P. Pics for illustration purposes only. E&OE. LMCT 10618. MCT109605 CALL US TODAY... February 2014 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry |5


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SECURING YOUR ride The most recent phase of the Securing Your Ride campaign utilised a new way of communicating to Victorians - through taxi back advertising. Rova is now operating in the Victorian taxi market. The VTA had 100 panels printed and the campaign could be seen on Metro Melbourne taxis in early December. The key message is about safety for the taxi travelling public. By booking a taxi through an authorised taxi network, passengers can be assured that their driver is accredited by the TSC and the vehicle complies with all the required standards, including GPS tracking of the journey, a roadworthy vehicle, internal and external cameras and alarm systems. As those in the industry know very well, these requirements provide a level of security and safety for drivers as well as passengers. Therefore, it is for the benefit of everyone in the industry to be working within the framework of an authorised taxi network to protect the Victorian taxi users. Visit the website at D 30 MARCH - 3 APRIL 2014 CROWN PERTH REGISTER EARLY Online at 6 | February 2014 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry


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TA X I Melbourne’s Premier COVER PROTECTION METROPOLITAN taxi club inc. We offer the best club conditions and protection cover package in the industry Fast claims recovery Fast repair turn-around Lower annual contributions Genuine replacement parts Free legal advice third party and legal liability cover up to $30,000,000 Modern workshop to cut your down-time 360 BRUNSWICK ROAD, BRUNSWICK Phone: Email: 9388 0722 Fax: 9388 0711 Always refer to the product disclosure statement for product information before making any financial decisions


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CITY MEGA ranks The Queen Street Mega Taxi Rank has extended its operation to Thursday nights over the busy summer period, as part of a fourmonth trial by the City of Melbourne. Taxi drivers and patrons can now utilise the rank, located between Little Collins Street and Bourke Street, from midnight Thursday until 5am on Friday. The rank previously only operated on Friday and Saturday nights. Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the Queen Street mega taxi rank helps to improve safety in the city at night. “The Queen Street mega taxi rank is our most popular and on most weekend nights it accommodates the equivalent of a full train leaving the city,” the Lord Mayor said. This rank provides traffic marshalls to assist taxi drivers, and a food and beverage service provided by the Salvation Army. Taxi drivers are welcome to a free coffee from the Salvos. Extra lighting, toilets and a Victoria Police presence complement the rank. The 16week trial started in December and will run until April 2014. Queen Street mega taxi rank operating times • • • from midnight Thursday to 5am Friday from midnight Friday to 5am Saturday from midnight Saturday to 5am Sunday Other Safe City taxi rank locations • • • 50 Bourke Street 8 King Street Flinders Street Station, at Swanston Street Other Safe City taxi rank operating times • • • from 11pm Friday to 5am Saturday from 11pm Saturday to 5am Sunday during special events such as the Melbourne Grand Prix and New Year’s Eve D Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry 8 | February 2014


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Late Night Transport Late Night Transport Public toilet/24Hr access Train Public toilet/24Hr access NightRider city stops Safe City taxi ranks Train (Underground) Train NightRider departures Police North Safe City taxi ranks Melbourne North Melbourne NightRider city stops North Melbourne Queen Vic Market Queen Vic Market Queen Vic Market ne our Melb ntral Ce t Victoria Str eet Carlton Victor ia St reet Carlton Train (Underground) Train stations Police Swanston Street West Bay Bay NightRider departures Fo MelbourneTrain stations o 6 966 CROYDON/LILYDALE ST ALBANS/MELTON/ 942 7 ts cra 5 968 KNOX/BAYSWATER/ SUNBURY BELGRAVE Bays yDeparture NightRider City944 Square 8 WERRIBEE R 4 o958 ELTHAM ad Bay West CRAIGIEBURN 954 9 Bay Collins Street EPPING 3 956 Collins Street NightRider City Square Departure Bays North Melbourne g st Fla aff Queen Vic Market s Rus t ree ell S Victoria St reet in Spr Vic tori r La T SUNBURY MORNINGTON/ROSEBUD 970 10 Flinders Lane ST ALBANS/MELTON/ Fo o MORNINGTON/ROSEBUD 970 10 West Fo Lane Melbourne Flinders o FRANKSTON/ p Do ay el W 9 Swanston Street ts c ray West Fo 2 961 ot Melbourne 942 7 s c FRANKSTON/ oa CRAIGIEBURN 954 d R WERRIBEE 944 8 1 6 966 CROYDON/LILYDALE KNOX/BAYSWATER/ 980 r DANDENONG a 5 968 BELGRAVE DONCASTER Melbourne ELTHAM EPPING eleSS da osb rn MelbourneLa T Lo t tree en S Que Wil Eliz obe ab e E liz e Stre e u rn lbo Me n tral e C e tt ee re ttr et Stre beth Eliza rne bou Mel ntral e C g St reet th S ab e Ex h yR 4 o958 ad 3 956 Fl n Spe ta a gs King ff gs Fla t tre e Par La e St Trob s Rus on S ibit th S ree t taff e u rn lbo Me n tral Ce ent East Melbourne liam in Sp r t treee et tr ns Swa ton e Stre t g St t on S ibiti Exh en t lia m t Pa r ree n St t re e wansto S s Rus 2 961 DONCASTER Melbourne t s Lo n et t Stre e e rke S tr Bou dal e et t affs Stre e e tt ourn ee r re Melb nHall eleSStt da Tow osb rn Melbourne T Lo t East Melbour t ree ell S e ll S n Swa reet liam e Stre t ree t reet h St bet Eliza st o n La t s Rus e Stre t Stre t tree en S Que en S Que b Har ts c ray cer 1 980 DANDENONG Telstra et Ro a Dome d Fla gs Collin e ll St rke Bou t ree Victoria Harbour Docklands t reet s S t e rs S der d Flin Flin Melbourne t on t Melb rationHall Stre e re et Fede rke S t Tow are Squ Bou dal e urne s Lo n e ourn Melb nHall w To n Swa e Stre ia Wi ll Wil our St King t tre e t liam Es King mS Victoria Harbour ST ALBANS/MELTON/ CRAIGIEBURN 954 9 FRANKSTON/ MORNINGTON/ROSEBUD 970 10 Swanston Street Victoria Harbour ST ALBANS/MELTON/ CRAIGIEBURN 954 9 FRANKSTON/ MORNINGTON/ROSEBUD 970 10 Swanston Street Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry Do Collins Street Flinders Lane st o n p Do rn t the ree s r St Sou osc ren e C p S NightRider City Square Departure Bays plan Bay SUNBURY 942 7 WERRIBEE 944 8 NightRider City Square Departure Bays p la n Collins Street Bay SUNBURY 942 7 WERRIBEE 944 8 Flinders Lane pe lW ay e Stre p en St tre e Stre ay el W ree Stre b ou H ar Bay et Etihad Stadium Telstra Dome rn th e Sou oss Cr Coll in t r ee Yarra River s St en S Que t b Har cer e Stre Docklands 4 958 ELTHAM Victoria Harbour 3 956 EPPING 6 966 CROYDEN/ KNOX/BAY 5 968 BELGRAVE Flin Flind Southbank t r ee t s St e rs S d er S lins io tl o a r C Fede are Squ rke tree t et r Es Bou et St re lia Wi l Yarra Rive r 2 961 DONCAS Docklands 1 980 DANDEN Etihad Stadium Yarra River t reet s S t e rs S der d Flin Flin 0 100 b Melrati Fede ow T Squ o our Es t ad tre e St Kilda Ro t Ki n g a de mS Do rn t the ree s r St Sou osc ren e C p S pe t tre e Stre lW Book your course today Call 9309 ay b ou H ar Bay et South Wharf Southbank C o ll 200 in s et Yarra River Str e 400 M eters Docklands 6 966 CROYDEN/ Yarra River 5 968 KNOX/BAY BELGRAVE 4 958 ELTHAM 3 956 EPPING 2 961 DONCAS 1 980 DANDEN r Es il St K Southbank t t tr ee rs S e rs S e d Flin Flind 0 100 200 rn the Sou oss Cr o ad da R a de South Wharf iv Mete aR Yarr400 Yarra River South Wharf Southba Yarra River OPERATOR training South Wharf 2014 Taxi Operator Course Dates 12 February 12 March 9 April 7 May 4 June 2 July 9.30am – 5pm 9.30am – 5pm 9.30am – 5pm 9.30am – 5pm 9.30am – 5pm 9.30am – 5pm TECHNICAL ADVANCED TRAINING Suite 15, 11-17 Pearcedale Parade, Broadmeadows Phone: 9309 0059 Web: 0059 OPPOSITE BROADMEADOWS VIC ROADS OFFICE AND BROADMEADOWS MAGISTRATE’S COURT MELWAY REF #6 G8 RTO PROVIDER #22274 tat_0214 February 2014 |9


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David Tuckwell, Clive Hardeman, Garry Bradd, Max Traynor, Phil Franet and Morrie Goss Annual Luncheon The VTA held its Annual Luncheon in December at the Carousel in Albert Park. It was a fantastic day that brought together more than 100 taxi operators, networks, former industry participants, industry suppliers, and transport industry colleagues, as well as representatives from the Taxi Services Commission. Roy Wakelin-King, CEO of the Linda Patching (AVA Tieman), Sandy Spanos and Mircina Mayas (Taxi Families) NSW Taxi Council, was a guest speaker and gave his perspective on the Victorian taxi industry reforms as well as his insight into the challenges the industry must tackle going forward. An enjoyable afternoon was had by all involved. It was a great opportunity to celebrate another big year in the industry and to catch up with colleagues. D Above Roy Wakelin-King (NSW Taxi Council) Right Georgia Nicholls (VTA) & Brendan Rowswell (CPR Communications) David Shipp & Pat Houlihan (Taxis Associated of Bendigo) 10 | February 2014 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry


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CABBIE - right of return Department of Veterans’ Affairs “Right of Return” – Giving taxi networks and operators responsibility for the round trip. The Victorian taxi industry and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) work closely together everyday to provide timely and high quality transport services for veterans and war widows (and widowers) when they need to travel for medical treatment. This service is known as the Booked Car Scheme and more than one million journeys are undertaken throughout Australia each year under this scheme. Traditionally, the journey to treatment and the journey home from treatment were planned as two separate trips and often completed by different taxi networks/operators which could be confusing for the more elderly and frail passengers. With the agreement and co-operation of contracted Victorian taxi networks and operators, DVA has recently implemented the concept of “Right of Return”. This means that the network/operator who has been allocated the job of transporting a DVA client to their medical appointment may automatically be given the authority to bring them home after the appointment for same day treatment. The benefit of Right of Return is that a network/operator can be guaranteed two jobs instead of just one and the use of the same network makes it less confusing for the veteran or war widow. Right of Return provides regional and rural operators greater opportunity for the trip back home from the city. Taxi drivers who are well informed about the process are pivotal to making Right of Return successful for everyone. When undertaking the inbound journey to the medical appointment the driver should explain to the passenger that their network, but not necessarily the same driver, will also be picking them up after the appointment for the outbound journey home. To ensure the network actually receives the outbound job, the inbound driver should provide the veteran or war widow a network business card. Some networks have produced Right of Return cards which are solely for DVA passengers. This card provides the priority telephone number the veteran, war widow or medical practice should ring when they are ready to come home. If DVA passengers do not receive a Right of Return card from the driver this may result in the medical practice phoning the DVA Transport hotline 1300 550 455 to arrange the return trip and it is possible that DVA may allocate the job to another network. It is in the interest of drivers to provide a Right of Return card to ensure the job is retained by their network. All taxi drivers who undertake contracted DVA work should provide a higher level of personal assistance. This may include assisting passengers from their front porch, helping passengers in and out of vehicles, setting down passengers as close as possible to the entry of their destination, and assisting them to the medical practice reception if required. The higher level of personal assistance offered by dedicated taxi drivers to DVA passengers represents the importance and acknowledgement by the Victorian taxi industry of the service to our country and sacrifices made by Australia’s war veterans and war widows. D 12 | February 2014 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry


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ALEX TAXIS & BROKER P/L TAXI VHA C le a r MT $280,000 MT $BUY MT SELL VHA $$$ BUYERS WAITING 119 Errol St Nth Melb Call Jimmy 0412 717 616 TAXI COVER VANs - SEDANs > > > > > > > > > ATB FOR ALL YOUR TAXI COVER Fastest recovery for loss of income Prompt repairs carried out well equipped workshop in tottenham Alex tAxis mobile eftpos Quick repairs to put you back on the road ASAP Genuine parts used Get rewarded for no claims and not at fault claims SMALLER > /BRIGHTER FASTER Third party property public liability > cover 30 Million 24hr Help Hotline 0425 837 766 TAXI YELLOW RESPRAYS FROM $1090 (incGST) 119 Errol St Nth Melb Call Chantel 9348 9507


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GIPPSLAND Firstly, let me wish everyone a healthy and safe 2014. Thank you to all those owners and drivers who worked the long hard hours through Christmas to keep taxis at a peak and service the much needy public. On the 13th of January I had my first meeting with a politician for the year, MP Russell Northe Parliament Secretary for Small Business. This of course starts off the round of meetings I have scheduled for the first half of the year. The main topics for discussion were:• 45/55 split • commercial agreement between owner and driver • no fault driver damage • high fuel prices and a fuel subsidy when fuel peaks, • MPTP fares to stay at half the metered fare in country areas The high fuel prices have knocked us all for a six. Dead kilometres and high fuel prices are dropping the bottom line even further and surely a government who says that they “... are green and care about the environment” would not want the taxi industry going back to petrol fuelled cars, because that is the decision that we are faced with at the moment. What we need in government are people who have run a business and a successful one at that, not one that has gone broke. Bankruptcy is a BAD WORD in any industry and are they not running the biggest business in the state? Maybe we should encourage our local retired business people to run as our local members? At least they would understand what’s involved in running a business - food for thought. If the fuel prices are going to remain high, and at this point the indication is that they are, I revert back to my submission to the 2006 Country Taxi Review, which was that Victorian taxis receive a fuel rebate over and above an agreed price. This can be easily done at income tax time. The government does it for farming, bus and other industries. This would ensure that taxis are out there on the slow days as well as the peak times. It would be remiss of me not to mention the sad de- drum Carmen Giddens VTA Gippsland Regional Councillor and Manager of Morwell Taxis mise of Royal Taxis - another victim in this whole state of affairs. How many more Taxi groups do we have to lose before the state government listens to what we are saying? The state government surely cannot expect us to stay viable in a climate where there has been no fare rise in 5 years, our costs have gone through the roof and fuel prices are crippling us. None of this is rocket science, give and take on both sides and to every problem there is a solution. It depends on the government of the day as to whether they want clear sailing or rough seas. D Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry 14 | February 2014


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