The Victorian Taxi Industry Inquiry has called for sweeping reforms of the taxi and hire car industries to increase competition, improve performance, and restore trust, all with the consumer as the central focus. On May 31 the Victorian Government released the draft report of the Taxi Industry Inquiry.
This report investigates the Victorian Taxi and hire car industries and concludes that the taxi industry currently “performs poorly and is not working well for consumers”.
The Report, which was chaired by former ACCC chairman Professor Allan Fels, recommends that the Victorian Taxi industry needs to be completely reformed to “increase and improve the supply of taxis, restore trust in the industry and boost the demand for taxi services”.
The recommendations of the inquiry’s report center around creating a more open taxi industry which will drive competition allowing for the industry to develop a greater consumer focus.
The report recommends that this be achieved by significant deregulation of taxi licensing, allowing for higher levels of driver ownership, greater flexibility in the use of different vehicle types, and for the market to determine the number of taxis.
The draft report also found that “it is clear that Victorians are generally dissatisfied and disappointed with the quality and behaviour of taxi drivers”. In response to this a core element of the proposed reforms is a new streamlined permit system and better training, testing, and salary for drivers, all with the intention of improving customer service and consumer satisfaction.
Although the full report is not due until later in the year it urges the government to act swiftly for, as it states, “allowing the taxi and hire car industry to continue in its current form is untenable”.
The draft report can be found here.