Taxi Complaints Up On 2009 Levels

Taxi Complaints Up On 2009 Levels

Western Australia Minister for Transport Simon O’Brien

Transport Minister Announces Taxi Industry Review

Victor P Taffa

Transport Minister Simon O’Brien has announced four levels of action in the State’s Taxi Industry to address a spike in passenger complaints to the Department of Transport (DoT).

Complaints so far this year total 484, compared to 419 for all of 2009.

“What is concerning is the severe nature of these complaints, ranging from alleged fare gouging and meter tampering to displays of verbal abuse towards some Passengers and inappropriate behaviour by male drivers to female passengers.” Mr. O’Brien said.

“While I firmly believe the number of serious complaints about driver behaviour is restricted to a small minority of taxi drivers, I have acted to protect the public interest as well as the reputation of the Industry.”

 

 

 

“Firstly, I have asked the Taxi Industry Board to immediately review Taxi Driver training to ensure appropriate standards are being prescribed and encouraged.” Mr. O’Brien said.

“I have asked the department to investigate the introduction of a probationary system for new drivers. If a taxi driver who is a newcomer to the industry is subjected to a period of probation in the same manner as a person qualifying for their motor driver’s licence – then there will be a greater incentive for that taxi driver to ensure their conduct is beyond reproach.”

“Another area of concern is the alleged tampering of fare meters to dupe passengers into paying inflated fares. While I am assured this kind of tampering is not possible, I have asked the department to have this verified by independent, expert advice.”

“Finally, I have asked the department to maintain its program of increased random on-the-spot checks of drivers, which is a very proactive means of addressing driver behaviour and making sure drivers are complying with regulations.” Mr. O’Brien said.

So far this year, DoT compliance officers have made 4,651 random inspections of Taxis. This compares with 3,166 compliance checks in 2009 and 717 in 2008.

Editor Victor P Taffa has been a Taxi Driver in Sydney previously. There are simply many Poor Taxi Drivers on the Road that gives the Industry a bad name. This problem appears to be widespread across Australia.