Cab Share Trial To Start

Cab Share Trial To Start

Victoria Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder

Late Night Cab Share Trial To Start – $30 Per Person To Outer Suburbs

Victor P Taffa

A new Cab Share trial that makes it much easier and cheaper for outer suburban revellers to get home this summer will be up and running in Melbourne’s CBD this weekend.

Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder, who announced the initiative in July, welcomed the commencement of the ‘Cab Share set price fare to your door’ pilot saying the scheme was a great boost for late night transport in Melbourne.

“People who take a share taxi from the Queen Street mega rank after midnight on Friday or Saturday nights will pay no more than $30 each to get home from the city.” Mr. Mulder said.

“We’re really pleased to be able to work with the Victorian Taxi Association (VTA) and the City of Melbourne on this innovative scheme for taxi customers. We hope this trial will give people another option to get home if it suits them.”

“It’s great that the pilot will be up and running for the festive season, when late night demand is at its highest.”

Cab Share is an initiative of Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, developed by the Victorian Taxi Association and enabled by the Victorian Coalition Government.

“This is an innovative and smarter way of using the existing fleet of taxis to provide a more affordable way of getting people home safely after a night out.” Cr. Doyle said.

“We are implementing this trial during the busy Christmas season, when taxis are in high demand. It is a win for passengers who get a cheaper ride home, a win for the taxi drivers who get a very good fare and a win for the city because we can help large numbers of people to get home safely late at night.”

The pilot, whom will operate out of the Queen Street mega rank on Friday and Saturday nights, will allow passengers heading in a similar direction to pay a set price per person for a trip in a maxi cab. Marshals will organise people travelling in a similar direction and when there are at least seven the maxi cab will depart. The VTA said Cab Share will be available from midnight to 3 am as long as there is demand.

Victorian Taxi Association CEO Neil Sach said the VTA developed the Cab Share trial to facilitate people getting home from the city during the weekend peak periods. Cab Share is not a replacement for mass public transport, but an innovative way of improving the productivity of the taxi service.

“The VTA sees real potential for Cab Share to be implemented in other locations and events across the state. We are excited about the benefits that Cab Share will have for both taxi passengers and taxi drivers.” Mr. Sach said.

The trial is aimed primarily at outer suburban passengers who might normally pay at least twice as much to get home in a standard taxi. However, people travelling to suburbs closer to the city will also have the option of getting on board for $20.

The pilot will trial two zones, comparable roughly to the public transport system but based on suburbs not road boundaries. Zone 1 passengers will pay a flat fare of $20 cash. Zone 2 passengers will pay $30 cash with any tolls included.

Mr. Mulder said the trial would give people another way of getting home and would also enable taxi drivers to be better rewarded for the service they provide late at night.

“The Coalition Government has made improving safety in taxis a priority since it came to office, implementing criminal data checking of drivers, quality assurance testing and next generation in-cab safety cameras.”

“In addition the Coalition Government has also supported passenger and driver safety through the Taxi Rank Safety Program providing grant funding to councils to install infrastructure such as CCTV, lighting, shelters, barriers and seating.”

The Taxi Industry Inquiry’s final report is due to be released before the end of the year.