I have been reporting on this industry for over 30 years and it never ceases to amaze me how every State (and Territory) in Australia does things slightly, and sometimes majorly, different from the others.
Just this year alone, the Victorian government has seen fit to grant Uber the right to transport our most vulnerable citizens – those who are MPTP (TSS) cardholders. Victoria is the only Australian State to do this. Moreover, it is the only place in the world where this has been done!
In New South Wales, the NSW Taxi Council has started up a Disability Reference Group where industry stakeholders will come together, discuss and network with the NSW taxi industry and disability sector. This will help foster a more collaborative and consultative relationship with all stakeholders.
The CPVV undertook a trial of the MPTP scheme with Uber in Geelong from 22 March to 31 May 2020 – at the start of Victoria's COVID-19 lockdown.
The subsequent results of the government orchestrated trial, where they judged Uber's services, are BASED ON 170 TRIPS conducted during this period.
This works out to be a sample size of LESS THAN 0.15% of the average MPTP trips during October and November 2020 - not 5%, not 10%, not 20%, but LESS THAN 0.15%. How is this data sufficient to make a judgement call?
And if you look at July 2019-June 2020 figures, the CPVV reports that 4.7 MILLION MPTP TRIPS were undertaken in that 12 month period.
Rod Barton MP condemns the Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria (CPVV) for partnering with Uber to deliver the Multi-Purpose Taxi Program (MPTP).
The MPTP assists with the travel needs of people with accessibility and mobility needs by offering subsidised taxi fares. This program is an essential service that exists to ensure that everyone can access safe and efficient transport, especially those most vulnerable.
For years, taxis have delivered the MPTP, undertaking training that allows drivers to transport vulnerable groups. This is a program that has long been built on trust, flexibility and safety.
The Victorian Regulator (CPVV) has announced that it has PARTNERED with Uber and is allowing Uber to participate in the MPTP system – the subsidy scheme that allows people with a severe or permanent disability to get a 50% subsidy when travelling in taxis.How ridiculous!!
There are so many things wrong with this.Minister for Public Transport, Ben Carroll, how can you condone this action? How can you allow the Regulator to decimate the taxi industry?
Wasn’t it bad enough that the Victorian government allowed Uber to operate illegally for 3 years and infiltrate the Victorian taxi and hire car industry? But now you have hit them in the guts again.
All Victorian CPVs (ie taxis, hire cars, limousines, special vehicles, ride share (including Uber, Didi, Shebah, GoCatch, Ola) must be cleaned after each trip (including after personal usage).
You must correctly clean high-touch services in a CPV at the right times. You must also keep a record of every time you clean. If you work with a booking service provider (BSP) or CPV owner, they must take reasonable steps to support you.
When to clean
You must clean all surfaces passengers are likely to touch before every trip.
Anyone driving or travelling in a Victorian commercial passenger vehicle must wear a fitted face mask. That's everyone, drivers and passengers, travelling in a taxi, hire car, limousine or ride share vehicle (including Uber, DiDi, Shebah, GoCatch, Ola).
Transport Alliance Australia (TAA)'s latest Operators' Forum held on Friday 4 December via Zoom was a great success.
Thank you to those who attended or expressed interest. TAA have been receiving excellent feedback from everyone who participated.
For those who missed it, TAA ran through a comparison of cleaning requirements for all the states/territories, cleaning etiquette, legal news, product presentations from guest speakers, and a few marketing tips, then ended with an open discussion.
NSW government is exploring innovative options available for the taxi industry to assist with contact tracing.
This comes on the back of nine untraceable passengers who travelled in a 13cabs Silver Service taxi on September 7-18, 2020 in NSW, with a driver who was COVID-19 positive. These passengers are yet to be identified, with health authorities finding it increasingly difficult to trace them, as they got into the taxi from a rank or hailed it and did not pay with a credit card.
In order to receive financial assistance from the COVID-19 CPV Industry Assistance Support Grants, Booking Service Providers (BSPs) are required to complete and submit paperwork to the Department of Transport (DoT).
Victorian medium and small BSPs must complete a Survey Application, and large BSPs (eg 13cabs, Silver Top Taxis and Uber) are required to complete a Funding Agreement. The grants are to cover financial hardship due to COVID-19 for the quarter July - October. --> SURVEY LINK <-- Yet, the DoT is dragging the chain in paying entities which have completed the required Funding Agreement. It has been over 10 weeks since the grants were announced, with only two weeks remaining before the period of assistance has expired.
The Queensland Government is going to review the proposed powers of Queensland’s first Personalised Transport Ombudsman (PTO).
The appointment of Queensland’s first PTO was expected in March 2020, however the impacts of COVID-19 has delayed the process until 2021.
The rationale behind this is to hopefully allow sufficient time for the industry to focus on recovery. Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey said, “By May 2020, over 1000 taxis and limousine licence holders had de-registered their vehicles to reduce costs during the COVID-19 emergency."