Western Australia Minister for Transport Simon O’Brien
New Taxi Plates Rolled Out To Help Maintain Service Levels
Victor P Taffa
Perth Commuters will benefit from a move to release 68 Additional Taxi Lease Plates.
The State Government has responded to an increase in demand for Taxis during Peak Hours and in the Outer Suburbs by announcing that an Extra 40 Peak Period Plates and 28 Restricted Area Plates would be introduced on to Metropolitan Streets.
Transport Minister Simon O’Brien said the move followed the release of 56 Unallocated Taxi Lease Plates earlier this year to meet the demand for Taxis during peak periods, which had significantly increased during the Past Two Years.
“Since 2008 demand for Taxis in the Metropolitan Area has increased by more than 8%.” Mr. O’Brien said.
“The improving economic climate during the past year, coupled with the strong growth in Perth’s population, has put pressure on the existing Fleet of Taxis.”
“All indications are that Perth will continue to grow faster in percentage terms than any other Australian capital city so it is imperative we put these extra taxis on to the roads.” Mr. O’Brien said.
Restricted area plates require those taxis to be hired within a ‘defined’ area. They are required to pick up within that area but they can go to any destination the customer wishes.
Peak Period Plates are restricted to operating at peak times as defined by their conditions (usually Friday/Saturday nights, Christmas, New Year) and at any amended times as notified by the Department of Transport.
This will be the first release of new Peak Period Plates since late 2007.
The Minister said the Outer Metropolitan Areas of Perth had experienced Strong Population growth, leading to much higher demand for taxis.
“During peak periods this demand has gone up by 13 % in the Outer Metropolitan Areas, so clearly these Extra Plates are going to have an effect.” the Minister said.
“The release of the new plates will be staged with the restricted area plates being put out at a Maximum of Five a Month and the Peak Period Lease Plates at a Maximum of Eight a Month.”
“Unlike Previous Releases by the former Labor Government, this Government is taking a considered and careful approach to the release of Plates to ensure viability of the Taxi Industry is maintained while at the same time the public demand for Taxis is met.” Mr. O’ Brien said.
The Taxi Plates will be made available by the Department through an expression of interest process which will start in the coming weeks.
Editor Victor P Taffa has been a Sydney Taxi Driver and has seen on many occasions when Transport Minister’s ‘Flood’ the Market with New Taxi Plates. This announcement by Mr. O’Brien is a responsible measure that will ensure Financial Security and Viability for existing Taxi Drivers.