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Review of taxi and chauffeur vehicle industry set to commence

9 June 2015

The State Government has announced the terms of reference for a wide-ranging review of the taxi and chauffeur vehicle industry.

The review creates an opportunity to develop better, more consistent service standards for passengers and to deliver better remuneration and working conditions for drivers.

This is a chance to make reforms which will improve services and public confidence in the taxi industry, improve conditions for drivers, foster innovation and support the growth of industry at large.

Taxis are vital for our tourism industry and they’re an important part of our public transport network – they must be attractive to customers, affordable and support the image of South Australia we are trying to project interstate and around the world.

Any reforms will aim to put the interests of customers first, and address the needs of stakeholders and the industry.

The review will have broad scope to review the sector and its performance against the following principles:

  • service standards and opportunities for improvement
  • safety and security for passengers and drivers
  • driver remuneration and working conditions
  • fares and surcharges
  • training and accreditation requirements
  • vehicle standards and requirements
  • centralised booking services
  • synergies with other forms of public transport
  • innovation, new technologies and competition
  • taxi and chauffeur vehicle roles in the tourism visitor experience
  • regional services
  • adequacy and cost of accessible taxis

The government is wanting to see innovation in the industry and facilitate competition in our passenger transport industries, while making sure we have a level playing field for all participants.

The opportunity of new technologies and booking services like goCatch, Uber and Ingogo, will also be examined.

The review will be led by a panel: former State Government Minister Greg Crafter, tourism industry consultant Jane Jeffreys and the former State Director of Telstra Michael Luchich.

Each panel member has been chosen for the area of expertise they can bring to this discussion.  Mr Crafter was a member of the Passenger Transport Board for 10 years, while Ms Jeffreys’ extensive experience in tourism and hospitality will provide a focus on the passenger experience.

In his current capacity State Director of Dimension Data – a global IT organisation – and having held roles such as the State Director of Telstra and the chair of the Australian Information Industry Association, Michael Luchich brings an expertise and understanding of new and evolving technologies and their application for the benefit of consumers.

It is proposed the review panel will conduct its investigations, meet with industry and stakeholders, and prepare a discussion paper for public release and feedback. Following consultation, a final report and recommendations will be presented to the government to consider. The review is to be completed by the end of the year.

Taxi Council SA President Jim Triantafyllou has welcomed the review.

“The Government has chosen eminent, experienced and knowledgeable members for the review panel,” he said.

“All industries can improve in areas such as customer service and we look forward to working with the review panel in a transparent and consultative manner to make ongoing improvements in the passenger transport industries.”

The Chauffeur Vehicle Association President Phil Johnson said his organisation had lobbied for change to ensure the legislative framework kept up with evolving technology and vehicle standards.

“The CVA embraces the need for review in the public transport industry and the part that private hire cars play in the industry,” he said.

The State Government welcomes the review and hope to be to be able to assist in making our industry a vibrant place for operators and drivers to be able to better serve the public in South Australia.

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