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  • Writer's pictureNSW Taxi Council

NSW Minister for Transport responds to calls from NSW Taxi Council and Business Sydney for a Review of Taxi Ranks and Pick Up/Drop Off Locations in the Sydney CBD

Source - Media Release from NSW Government

New measures are being launched to support the NSW taxi industry, making sure passengers have a smooth journey and aren’t taken for a ride by the minority of drivers who do the wrong thing.

The Transport Minister is acting on calls for a review into taxi ranks in Sydney CBD. It follows concerns raised by industry bodies about inaccessible drop-off and pick-up zones in busy city locations, causing potential safety and economic impacts.

Transport for NSW has been tasked with leading this work, coordinating the City of Sydney, which is responsible for many of these taxi zones, the Point to Point Transport Commissioner and industry stakeholders, to ensure the best outcomes for drivers and passengers.

The NSW Government is also investigating options for a centralised database to help taxi service providers identify and regulate rogue drivers.

The Point to Point Transport Commissioner will work with the taxi industry to expand the Driver Vehicle Database.

The Commissioner will look at improving how checks are run on drivers, including fare related offences, as well as eligibility, driving offences and criminal charges.

Tougher penalties will be considered to crack down on repeat offenders, to ensure drivers who continue to do the wrong thing can be thrown out of the industry.

Currently, the database system is not comprehensive enough to capture and record the minority of drivers caught doing illegal activity such as overcharging and fare refusal, meaning they can potentially reoffend.

Minister for Transport Jo Haylen said:

“We know taxis play a vital role in shaping Sydney as a global city and keeping our regions moving. But for too long, the taxi and rideshare industries, and their passengers, have been let down.

“Right now, there’s a loophole in the system that’s damaging the reputation of the taxi industry, unfairly impacting the majority of drivers who are doing the right thing and servicing our community.

“We want to make sure better regulations are in place so passengers have a safe and fair ride, while supporting the taxi industry.

“Revamping drop-off and pick-up zones in a thriving city like Sydney is a no-brainer. We’ll work to improve infrastructure, including things like additional taxi exemptions in no stopping areas.”

Point to Point Transport Commissioner Anthony Wing said:

“A minority of taxi drivers are choosing to do the wrong thing by failing to use the meter during a rank or hail trip, overcharging their passengers or refusing a fare.

“My Compliance team of Authorised Officers continue to be out in force conducting plain clothes and highly visible operations.

“With more than 70 million safety checks on drivers and vehicles run through the centralised database by industry in the last 12 months, it makes sense to boost its capabilities.”

NSW Taxi Council CEO Nick Abrahim said:

“We want people to have a great taxi experience in the CBD. After a night out, people should be talking about the great show they saw or the event they went to – not about a poor taxi experience.

“Unfortunately one bad apple can spoil the bunch – and we don’t want the reputation of hardworking taxi drivers brought down by the few doing the wrong thing. A streamlined database will mean service providers are better informed about the drivers they’re onboarding.

“These measures are a big step in the right direction, and I want to acknowledge the Transport Minister, Point to Point Transport Commissioner and Business Sydney for working with us towards addressing these issues.”

Media Coverage

7 News - The Taxi Industry is in for an overhaul with rogue drivers to be blacklisted in Sydney

9 News - Government introduces tougher penalties for dodgy Taxi drivers

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