Election 2013 Western Australia March 9

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Announcements by Kevin Morgan

Perth needs better taxi services

Kevin Morgan Independent for Cottesloe

A $9 taxi pick-up fee is ridiculous.

For significantly less than the $9 fee recently introduced by the Liberals, the taxi industry can be reformed through a plate buy-back scheme so it can become predominantly owner/drivers, better trained and policed for service standards, and which together with market forces will deliver better outcomes in satisfying consumer demand for taxis.

Our taxi industry is presently dominated by wealthy business people who own the plate licenses for large fleets of taxis which are driven by their employees for wages. Our political parties are captive to these owners who have over many years used their political influence to restrict the release of new plate licenses for extra taxis. This gifts them windfall profits as plate licenses increase in value by hundreds of thousands of dollars each.

By the imposition of a temporary levy we can buy-back all existing licenses and reissue those and more to actual taxi drivers, giving them a start in small business and a personal interest in delivering good service. Fees for issuing these plate licenses annually would fund a regulator to oversee training and police service standards.

All taxi drivers could be required to wear a standard uniform and all taxis a common distinctive colour. Different plate licenses could have different conditions to ensure demand is met during both peak and non-peak periods.

This is the path to improvement, not those advocated by the political parties, whose thirst for election donations means that their policies are inevitably distorted by vested interests, with their taxi policy one example of this.


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