10 April 2017
NSW TAXI INDUSTRY MUST GROW TO PROSPER
The NSW Taxi Council today noted the announcement by Transport for NSW to offer 62 taxi licences back into the market to support a sustainable growth strategy for industry.
As part of the reform of the point to point sector, the NSW Government committed to a freeze on taxi licences being issued for four (4) years to December 2019, with only replacement and Wheelchair Accessible Taxi (WAT) licences to be issued during this time.
The release of licences announced today are for replacement licences that have been handed back to government which, at industry’s request, will be offered to market in a staged approach to minimise any negative impacts on industry viability.
A recent independent study showed that the overall point to point transport sector is growing with more people using services generally, and the taxi industry needs to be able to grow to meet this demand.
Chief Executive of the NSW Taxi Council, Mr Roy Wakelin-King said “the taxi industry needs to be able to adapt and grow with the market. Ultimately we must grow to prosper and we cannot continue to go backwards.
“Taxi licence numbers have dropped by over 200 in the past 12 months and when overall point to point demand is increasing, a decreasing supply will have negative consequences for future industry growth and prosperity”.
“As we move toward a level playing field with other players in the point to point transport sector, demand for taxi services will increase and as the key player in this market, we must be able to meet this demand and customer expectations”.
Mr Wakelin-King said that whilst it is pleasing that government took into account some of the industry’s comments on a sustainable growth strategy, the current pricing model of public tender needs to be reviewed to ensure that there are no negative impacts on existing licences.
“We urge the Government to consider alternative pricing models or adaptation of the public tender process to include a reserve price or similar”, Mr Wakelin-King said.
“If pricing is not carefully considered, we will see existing licences being handed back in favour of Government leased licences that are cheaper, and this ultimately will defeat the objective to allow the industry to grow”.
If the Government can develop a sensible pricing model for taxi licences then it can allow the market to respond to demand and it would not need to continue to intervene in the market through this annual process, Mr Wakelin-King said.
“For this and future determinations, it is also vital that the regulatory reforms for point to point transport, including cheaper Greenslip insurance and proper laws for ridesharing services are fully implemented to achieve true competitive neutrality. This must be a pre-condition for future licence releases as this will mean that all participants in the point to point transport sector will be treated equally and can compete on a fair basis”, Mr Wakelin-King said.
The NSW Taxi Council highlighted these points in its submission to Transport for NSW which can be found here.
Media enquiries: 0407 232 404