The NSW Transport and Infrastructure Terror

The NSW Transport and Infrastructure Terror

For more: The NSW Transport and Infrastructure Terror

 

Good works of many people including Sydney Morning Herald’s valiant efforts as well as A Call for the NSW Transport and Infrastructure Corruption Inquiry, A Critical Observation re NSW Upper House Inquiry, Faruque Ahmed’s Submission to the NSW Upper House Inquiry re Taxi Industry gave us nothing. Virtually nothing!

The director general of NSW Transport and Infrastructure said that he knew nothing about the taxi industry. He also said that he is determined to protect taxi plate value (contrary to public interests and public good).   

They do not want to do anything about Nexus Taxi Plate Crimes!

They want us to drive unsafe taxi-cabs under the guise of Authorise Taxi Inspection Scheme.

They don't want to give us a safe work place and safe work practices!

They refuse to initiate the inclusive Taxi Advisory Committee.

They also refuse to initiate the Taxi Drivers’ Safety Committee.

They are providing unfair protection and advantage to taxi networks contrary to public good and safety.

They are providing unfair protection and advantage to taxi mafia to bully, muzzle and dictate taxi drivers, operators and public in general!  

 

--- In NSWTDAFORUM@yahoogroups.com, "destodesperate" <destodesperate@...> wrote:

Re: 59 Parlt Inquiry Recommendations

 

AN ABSOLUTE DISGRACE!

http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/publications/response_to_sci\
_taxi_inquiry.pdf


Ernie
(Wondering why anybody would continue to drive a cab under these abominable
conditions.)


--- In NSWTDAFORUM@yahoogroups.com, "tedtaxifo" <tedhirsch@...> wrote:

Re: TAXIDRIVERS, INDUSTRY AND PUBLIC FUCKED OVER

OK guys,


I have just tonight done a first scan of the Transport NSW list of Government
DECISIONS on the 59 Parliamentary Recommendations this year and you will have to excuse my language.

I am truly and utterly pissed off !

I think everybody has been truly shat on and fucked over.
The TNSW decisions are so absurdly softcock that a pro in a brothel couldn't help sniggering.


The TNSW list is a complete whitewash. It has the thumbprints of the mafia all
over it !

(Like in the Inquiry Appendix 10? of the Committee's final decisions on Recommendations which seemed to have already been influenced by "outsiders" - like TNSW and TC Ltd.)


I was (naively) hopeful about this Inquiry. A huge part of the disappointment is the amount of effort put in by so many. A huge number of drivers, the NSW TDA, ATDA, Disability groups and other individuals invested enormous amounts of time, bloody weeks of work, into submissions, many very good, some maybe less. Plus TNSW, TC Ltd and Cabcharge (very reluctantly). The Legislative Council members worked bloody hard, learned and listened very well, asked many follow up questions.


The result was, IMHO, a fairly soft but decent set of 59 Recommendations. I suggested discuss them all in detail in the "proposed and promised" Taxi Advisory Committee. Others said adopt these but not others. Ernie can see which he won or not. In fact TNSW (and TC Ltd ?) had already decided, so fuck you all !

When were these TNSW decisions done, who knows? (But one curious hint is in Recomm 46 which refers to "in November 2010". How can that be, unless written /decided before then ?)


And by the way, the Taxi Advisory Committee promised several times, including to the Inquiry Parliamentarians, by "dear uncle Les" Weilinga to be established long before 1 Dec 2010, appears only as another promise at Recomm 50.

(BTW does anyone know what the Industrial Relations "review" in Recomm 53 is about?)

(Maybe the 20 WATS Recomms fared a little bit better than others, I'm not sure, but hope so.)The Government final decisions, via the Minister, via TNSW, are no doubt also via our well known friends and foes, the TC Ltd.

It has all the hallmarks. TC Ltd (and Cabcharge) may not have impressed in the Inquiry, but they've undoubtedly been MOST impressive and effective behind closed doors with their usual mates in TNSW. And they've effectively buggered everyone ! They've fucked over the drivers well and truly. They've fucked over the Parlt Inquiry members without a second scruple. And anyone else whose ideas they didn't like ! It's a complete whitewash. Business as usual under the taxi industry mafia, thanks very much.


Did we, or should we have lobbied the new Transport Minister? A missed opportunity? Or a waste of time? Certainly no doubt who he's influenced by.  Will it be any different with a new Liberal Govt transport minister in March?
Doubtful, who knows? Or just another waste of time?I am totally pissed off, or slightly depressed, sorry guys, this is not my usual style.


What next ?

If we can't get any action or decent change or decent improvements from a bloody Parliamentary Inquiry for God's sake, then how do we get ANY change !? Industrial action ? ! ! ! Blockade the city. At or before the March election ?


I had expected, but don't see much hope at the moment. Excuse this outburst. Maybe others see it differently and can cheer us up a bit.


Not so cheerful,

Ted

 

--- In freeamericanow@yahoogroups.com, "Biplobi Faruque" <union_faruque@...> wrote:

T & I Position re UH Recommendation

 

The T&I criminals know nothing but they know how to protect Taxi Mafia Criminal Empire!  

 

They do not want to do anything about Nexus Taxi Plate Crimes!

They want us to drive unsafe taxi-cabs under the guise of ATIS.

They don't want to give us a safe work place and work practices!

 

Please check it out.

 


--- In Sydney_TaxiCorruption@yahoogroups.com, "Biplobi Faruque" <union_faruque@...> wrote:

What is it?

 

NSW GOVERNMENT RESPONSE

SELECT COMMITTEE INQUIRY INTO THE NSW TAXI INDUSTRY

 

PAGE 1 OF 15

 

SELECT COMMITTEE INQUIRY INTO THE TAXI INDUSTRY

RECOMMENDATIONS (59) NSW GOVERNMENT RESPONSE

Note: NSWTI (NSW Transport and Infrastructure) is now Transport NSW

Supported: recommendation is supported (27)

Supported in principle: recommendation's objective is supported, with an alternative approach (17)

Not supported: recommendation is not supported, for reasons provided (9)

Further consideration required: further work needed to determine a final response (6)

 

Availability of taxi licences

1. NSWTI limit the number of licences an applicant or related applicant can receive in future licence allocations, to one.

Supported in principle.

The Passenger Transport Act 1990 permits a limit on the number of licences that may be issued per applicant to be considered when making each year's annual licence determination if it is considered it will help promote competition.

However, while there is a limit of one licence per applicant for the 90 licences reserved for taxi drivers to encourage increased ownership by driver/operators, no limit has been imposed on the other new or replacement licences in the 2010 licence release. As this would prevent new and emerging networks or fleet operators from gaining the market share needed to compete with larger established networks, a general limit of one licence per applicant is not supported

.

2. NSWTI disqualify individuals or entities that currently own 10 or more licences from participating in future allocations of new licences.

Not supported.

It is considered that such a restriction on applications would prevent new and emerging networks or fleet operators from gaining market share needed to compete with larger established networks.

However, a regulation could be made that would allow consideration to be given to limiting the number of licences that may be issued to entities that already hold a large share of the market.

 

3. NSWTI adopt a ballot system for allocation of future licences to qualified applicants.

Not supported.

The legislation currently provides for licences to be issued by public auction or sealed tender (other than for wheelchair accessible taxi licences) which allows the market to set the price for licences at a realistic level, while Government now sets the numbers of licences. At this stage, it is not considered that a ballot system provides additional benefits to the auction or tender processes, especially as it would require Government to set both the price for and supply of new licences.

However, a regulation could be made that would allow for an alternative mechanism to be used to set licence fees, if it proved that the operation of the market was not delivering appropriate outcomes.

 

PAGE 2 OF 15

4. NSWTI investigate the establishment of a taxi licence seniority register for drivers with an exemplary service record that may be used in future licence allocations.

Supported in principle.

The legislation provides for licences to be reserved for issue to taxi drivers and Transport NSW has commenced this approach, with 90 such licences reserved for issue in 2010 to experienced taxi drivers who meet the criteria of a good service record.

The criteria for experienced drivers used for this year's tender will be reviewed prior to next year's licence determination, to ensure that drivers with exemplary service records are given appropriate opportunities to take up a licence.

 

5. NSWTI employ more compliance officers to conduct regular and unannounced inspections of taxis in NSW and officers be provided with a comprehensive compliance checklist.

Supported in principle.

Transport NSW already employs 16 compliance officers, with an additional officer being recruited to address increased workloads. Compliance officers undertake regular training and operate under a comprehensive compliance checklist for all taxi vehicle inspections.

As the taxi fleet expands to match demand Transport NSW will look to recruit additional officers to match the increased work load.

 

6. NSWT conduct an audit of all vehicles in the NSW taxi fleet, with the audit commencing in

January 2011.

Not supported.

NSW taxis must be regularly inspected for safety and comfort standards by specialist Authorised Taxi Inspection Station (ATIS) inspectors:

_ every 4 months in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong;

_ every 6 months in country areas, and

_ annually in the Western division.

These regular inspections are more frequent than in other States. Transport NSW compliance officers undertake on-road vehicle inspection and enforcement audits on a daily basis. Compliance officers also conduct quarterly random audits of taxis, including joint operations with Police and the Roads and Traffic Authority. Over 9,100 such audits were conducted in 2009/10, with 1,034 noncompliance notices issued which required the operator to repair defects relating to passenger comfort standards and, in some cases roadworthiness, within a set time.

In addition, Transport NSW conducts targeted audits of operators who frequently present their taxis for ATIS inspection in poor condition. This has led to over 40 operators being audited in 2009/10 and the possibility of their accreditation being suspended or cancelled. The existing programs of frequent regular taxi inspections, coupled with the regular and random audit programs, are considered more effective for maintaining high vehicle standards than a single audit event.

Transport NSW will be publishing data on vehicle inspections undertaken and resulting compliance action.

PAGE 3 OF 15

 

Taxi networks and the Nexus scheme

7. NSWTI take no further action in respect of the Nexus scheme licences.

Supported.

In accordance with recent amendments to the Passenger Transport Act 1990, Transport NSW will gazette a list of Nexus and paired licences. Fresh licence documents will be issued and performance will be monitored, subject to a specific compliance strategy.

 

8. Minister for Transport pursue an amendment to the Passenger Transport Act 1990 to remove the requirement that taxi networks must have the capacity to provide coverage to the entire Sydney metropolitan area, seven days a week, 24 hours a day and that taxi networks have a redirect mechanism for out of area bookings.

For further consideration.

Taxi drivers must not refuse to provide a service to passengers for any journey within the taxi's licensed area of operation. It is, therefore, important that all networks should have communications coverage for the same area of operation as the taxis attached to them, such as for the Sydney metropolitan area.

This provides flexibility for taxi operators and drivers, while ensuring that passengers are not refused taxi services for journeys outside a smaller area – such as to outer suburbs. It also ensures driver safety protection systems supported by the networks operate at all times and locations throughout the operating area.

Authorisation standards already provide networks with the option to have offload agreements with other networks, which allow them to pass on bookings which they cannot quickly meet themselves to another network – such as in another area. While not mandatory many networks have such arrangements in place to improve response times and reliability when they are unable to satisfy a booking quickly themselves.

For these reasons, area or time or area restricted network authorisation would need to be carefully considered to avoid impacts on passenger services. Such options will be considered as part of the review of network regulation referred to in response to Recommendation 9 below.

 

9. NSWTI undertake a thorough review of all the regulations governing the operation of taxi networks, with a view to removing any barriers that may preclude new networks from entering the taxi industry and encouraging the entry of new taxi networks into the industry.

Supported.

Transport NSW will review the regulation of taxi networks, with a view to minimising barriers to new and emerging networks, while maintaining passenger service levels. In addition, regular licence releases such as the two tenders earlier this year, enable new networks to apply for licences to establish or expand a new network fleet.

The fact that Sydney has more authorised taxi networks (12) than other capital cities, including two newer networks authorised in 2005 and 2006, demonstrates that network standards are able to support the entry of new taxi networks.

PAGE 4 OF 15

 

Availability of taxis

10. NSWTI introduce varied changeover times as part of taxi licence conditions and regulations.

Supported.

NSW has 265 peak availability and night licences which operate over changeover periods and all other licences are able to vary changeover times to meet passenger demand.

New annual licences issued in 2010 will be required to changeover prior to 2am and 2pm (rather than at 3am and 3pm) to further improve availability.

In addition, the current review of network authorisation standards will consider measures of taxi availability at changeover times, prior to next year's annual licence determination.

 

11. NSWTI examine the merits of allowing greater flexibility in the type of vehicle that can be used as a taxi, subject to safety and security requirements.

Supported.

Transport NSW accepts a broad range of vehicles as taxis if they meet the national taxi passenger space and comfort requirements set out in the Single Uniform Type Inspection (SUTI) manual of the Australian Design Rules. These include many newer people mover and compact vehicles, including hybrid-powered vehicles. Transport NSW publishes the SUTI requirements so that taxi operators and vehicle suppliers can check their acceptability:

www.transport.nsw.gov.au/taxi/vehicle-standards

 

12. NSWTI explore the feasibility of introducing a greater number of peak period licences

Supported.

Each year, the Director General may determine the number of licences which may be issued, including peak period licences. This will be considered as part of the next licence determination before 30 March 2011.

 

13. Following consultation with stakeholders, NSWTI increase the number of taxi ranks in locations with significant passenger demand.

Supported in principle.

Taxi rank zoning, signage and kerbside infrastructure are the responsibility of local councils and Transport NSW has no direct responsibility for them.

However, the introduction by councils of taxi ranks in locations and with sufficient capacity to best meet passenger demand is supported. The Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) will continue to liaise with the taxi industry and local councils in the identification and provision of suitable locations for taxi ranks, especially in areas of significant passenger demand.

 

14. Following consultation with stakeholders, NSWTI increase the number of secure taxi ranks at weekends and during times of high demand for taxi services, such as during the festive season or specialevents.

Supported in principle.

There are currently 48 secure ranks across NSW providing a safer environment for taxi passengers, drivers and local communities.These have additional hours added when required for events. Seven of these ranks were introduced recently under trial as part of the Government's `Hassle Free Nights' initiative. Information on locations is available at

www.transport.nsw.gov.au/taxi/secure-taxi-ranks.

Transport NSW may consider requests for alternate locations or additional hours of operation for special events or holiday periods on a case by case basis, subject to funding availability.

PAGE 5 OF 15

 

Payment of taxi fares

15. Subject to the successful trial on the NSW Central Coast, NSWTI introduce prepayment of fares for late night travel.

Supported in principle.

Transport NSW will conduct and evaluate a trial on the Central Coast for the pre-payment of taxi fares before determining whether there is merit in broader application of pre-payment arrangements for the future. Public consultations will be held before the trial to determine the length, operational framework and evaluation requirements for the trial.

 

16. NSWTI undertake a community awareness campaign to inform prospective passengers of the introduction of prepayment of fares for late night travel.

Supported.

A community awareness campaign will form part of the pre-payment trial and possible future expansion.

 

17. NSWTI determine what equipment is needed to automatically issue an itemised receipt at the end of each taxi journey, with a view to making this a requirement in all taxis.

Supported.

Transport NSW will consider what information should be able to be printed on receipts, while retaining competition between equipment suppliers.

 

18. Minister for Finance request that the Federal Minister for Finance and Deregulation review, in the light of general level of service fees charged across various industries, the 10 per cent surcharge levied on electronic payment of taxi fares.

Supported in principle.

The NSW Government does not regulate electronic transaction fees, therefore the Minister for Finance has advised that he intends to write to the Federal Minister for Finance and Deregulation, referring to the Inquiry's recommendation that the fee level be reviewed by the Commonwealth.

 

19. NSWTI investigate whether there are actions that can be undertaken by the Department to regulate electronic transactions fees within the NSW taxi industry.

Supported.

Transport NSW will investigate whether there are actions that can be undertaken to regulate such fees in NSW.

 

PAGE 6 OF 15

20. A feasibility study be undertaken into a NSW government-run licensed and regulated payment system that is part of the planned integrated public transport ticketing system.

Not supported.

The Government is committed to delivering an integrated electronic ticketing system (ETS) for greater Sydney, recognising that cashless ticketing for Sydney's public transport network is an important initiative. However, expanding the scope of the ETS project to include a taxi payment system is not supported at this time, as it would impact on its scheduled delivery.

 

Wheelchair accessible taxis

21. NSWTI develop a 10 year plan to increase the percentage of WATs from the current 11% to a minimum of 50% of the NSW taxi fleet, and where there is only one licensed taxi in a geographic area, it must be a WAT.

Supported in principle.

Transport NSW will continue to identify opportunities to increase the number of wheelchair accessible taxis (WATs) in NSW and continues to issue WAT licences at reduced fees ($1,000 per annum) in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong, and free of charge in country NSW. In particular, Transport NSW will explore an evidence-based approach based on local measures of demand to determine when and where to advertise for further WAT licences.

Transport NSW assesses all applications for WAT licences and will seek to establish services in regional areas where no WAT service is currently available.

WAT fleet growth in country areas will also continue to be supported with free licences and interest free loans – towards at least one WAT taxi in each licensed area, within 5 years.

 

22. NSWTI establish a service agreement for the use of taxi services in community transport programs.

Supported.

The Community Transport Organisation (CTO) has published a model Service Agreement for use with taxi services.

Transport NSW will continue to promote such arrangements where there are passenger service and cost benefits. Transport NSW estimates that during 2009/10, more than 8% of all community transport trips under the Home and Community Care Transport Sub-Program and the NSW Community Transport Program were provided by local taxi services and this proportion is growing each year.

PAGE 7 OF 15

 

23. NSWTI include in key performance indicators for the WAT fleet, a mechanism to accurately capture information on the experiences of WAT passengers, including waiting times.

Supported.

Transport NSW already collects key service performance measures for wheelchair accessible taxi (WAT) bookings, including waiting times – and publishes on a quarterly basis, aggregated data for Sydney networks and for networks in Newcastle, Wollongong and the Central Coast combined.

To provide more detailed service delivery information for trips booked through these networks, Transport NSW will start publishing each quarter, disaggregated key performance data for each individual network for each month, from later this year. Publication of this data will enable improved monitoring of performance levels.

Transport NSW's Customer Feedback Management System (CFMS) specifically records complaints and compliments specifically relating to WAT services and, as referred to in response to Recommendation 44, Transport NSW will also publish this data.

 

24. NSWTI require providers of WAT services in regional and rural areas to provide six-monthly reports on their KPIs.

Supported.

Transport NSW will require authorised taxi networks in country areas to provide 6 monthly reports on response times and reliability of WAT bookings.

 

25. NSWTI immediately implement a revised WAT Measurement Protocol, based on the three dimensional cube.

Supported.

Transport NSW has issued a draft revised WAT Measurement Protocol to disability peak groups, vehicle modifiers and industry bodies for comment. The revision proposes changing the definition of an allocated wheelchair space to:

_ clarify that the internal allocated space is defined as a three dimensional rectangular prism without intrusions, and

_ incorporate the Commonwealth's new 1500mm headroom requirement.

Following consultation, Transport NSW will adopt a revised WAT Measurement Protocol which will apply to all new and replacement WATs.

 

26. NSWTI conduct an audit of all WATs to identify vehicles that are non-compliant with the DSAPT and revoke the WAT licence if the vehicle is still non-compliant within 3 years.

Supported in principle.

Transport NSW ensures that all new and replacement WATs comply with the Commonwealth's Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport and the NSW WAT Measurement Protocol at the time they are placed into service. If any are subsequently found not to meet the standards which applied at the time it was placed into service, the WAT is immediately removed from operation.

Transport NSW will conduct an audit to ensure all WATs have appropriate certification and will continue to investigate any complaints regarding compliance of particular WATs.

If the Commonwealth Standards or WAT Measurement Protocol are amended, these requirements will apply to all new WATs coming into operation. Existing WATs will be permitted to operate until they reach their 10 year age limit, to ensure there is no loss of available WATs to meet demand.

PAGE 8 OF 15

 

27. NSWTI provide financial incentives to operators of noncompliant vehicles to modify their vehicles to meet the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport and the regulations.

Not supported.

Transport NSW already provides financial incentives to place WATs into operation and to comply with updated accessibility standards. These incentives include minimal licences fees of only $1,000 per annum in metropolitan areas, compared with typical lease rates for a standard licence of $31,000 per annum, as well as interest free loans for WATs outside of Sydney.

Transport NSW will continue to offer existing financial incentives to support WAT fleet growth and compliance with standards.

 

28. NSWTI conduct an annual inspection of the wheelchair accessible taxi fleet to ensure continued compliance with the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport and the regulations.

Not supported.

Transport NSW ensures that all new and replacement WATs comply with the Commonwealth Standards and WAT Measurement Protocol at the time they are placed into service.

If passengers or operators have concerns regarding compliance, Transport NSW will arrange a vehicle audit on request.

 

Accessibility issues for wheelchair taxi users

29. NSW Minister for Transport request the Australian Transport Council (ATC) undertake a feasibility study into the introduction of a universally accessible taxi fleet in Australia and, as part of this study, examine ways in which the standard taxi fleet can be upgraded to be wheelchair accessible taxi compliant, including financial incentives.

Supported, in principle.

The Minister will seek the Australian Transport Council's agreement to review the best approach for developing wheelchair accessible taxi (WAT) fleet standards across Australia to meet existing and latent demand for accessible services at equivalent levels to those of standard taxis.

 

30. NSWTI direct the Zero 200 booking service to create and implement ways to allow pre-allocation of booking requests at the time a booking is made and to allow pre-booking of regular trips.

Supported.

Zero 200 has confirmed that bookings can already be pre-arranged, including pre-booking of regular trips. Many regular WAT passengers will continue to make private bookings with a preferred driver who is familiar with their needs.

PAGE 9 OF 15

 

31. Subject to privacy considerations and the consent of passengers, NSWTI request that the Zero 200 booking service investigate how to retain customer information, such as a requirement.

Supported.

The Zero 200 Booking Service has also confirmed that it is already able to recognise and retain customer requirements, such as vehicle preferences and pick up arrangements, where agreed with the passenger. This assists both passengers and Zero 200 to ensure that accessible services meet passengers' needs. Passengers are welcome to request this facility.

 

32. Minister for Local Government request local councils to undertake a review of taxi ranks in their area to determine rank accessibility, and identify areas where improvements can be made.

Supported in principle.

The Minister for Local Government will request the Division of Local Government to issue a circular to all councils, identifying their responsibilities for accessible infrastructure under Commonwealth Accessibility Standards and requesting a review of taxi rank accessibility.

This will include the availability of funding support in country areas through Transport NSW's Country Passenger Transport Infrastructure Grants Scheme.

The RTA will continue to participate with local councils in any review of taxi ranks to identify improvements to accessibility, through the established Local Traffic Committee process.

 

33. Minister for Transport amend the parking regulations to allow for WATs to stop for up to 15 minutes in disabled parking zones and in loading zones to set-down and pick-up passengers with disability

Supported in principle.

All taxis, including WATs, are currently permitted to pick up and set down in 18 zones, including Loading Zones and timed No Stopping Zones.

Currently, taxis may only use disabled parking spaces for pickup and set down of passengers with a disability, if the passenger or the taxi organisation has and displays a disability parking permit issued under the Mobility Parking Scheme.

Granting access to disabled parking spaces for WAT drivers when assisting passengers with a disability is supported, as long as such spaces are not used for other general taxi operations. The RTA is canvassing major councils and disability groups in the development of the most practical future approach.

 

34. NSWTI consult with Vision Australia to determine ways to improve the accessibility of taxis for people with vision impairment.

Supported.

Transport NSW will consult with Vision Australia regarding potential further measures to assist passengers with vision impairment.

 

35. NSWTI increase the value of the subsidy provided by the Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme (TTSS) to half the total fare, up to a maximum of $50 per fare

Further consideration required.

Transport NSW will review and evaluate the current Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme subsidy cap.

 

PAGE 10 OF 15

36. Premier request IPART to consider the value of the subsidy provided under the TTSS as part of its annual review of taxi fares.

Further consideration required.

Transport NSW will review and evaluate options for the future adjustment of the Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme subsidy cap.

 

37. NSWTI expedite the introduction of an electronic card system to facilitate payments made under the TTSS.

Supported.

Transport NSW will progress with procurement of a card-based electronic payment system for the Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme, which delivers benefits for passengers and the industry, as well as supporting competition in taxi fares payment systems.

 

38. NSWTI require all taxi drivers to undertake disability awareness training, including training in assisting people with intellectual disability, vision impairment, and people using guide dogs and assistance dogs, as a compulsory component of the driver-training program.

Supported.

All taxi drivers in Sydney undertake disability awareness training as part of their mandatory taxi driver training. This includes identifying disabilities and specific customer service modules on assisting people with a disability. In addition, taxi drivers are instructed by representatives of the Guide Dogs Association as part their training. In addition, all taxi drivers are encouraged to undertake specialist training for driving a wheelchair accessible taxi (WAT), which includes modules on customer services for passengers with different disabilities, driving a WAT vehicle, use of equipment, radio booking procedures and processing of the Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme subsidy. Transport NSW reimburses drivers for the cost of completing the Wheelchair Accessible Taxi Driver Training Course.

 

39. NSWTI ensure that people with disability are involved in the development and delivery of disability awareness training programs for taxi drivers.

Supported.

Transport NSW will seek to involve people with disabilities in the development and delivery of general taxi driver training and specialist WAT driver training.

 

40. Premier request IPART to consider the value of the subsidy provided by the [WAT] taxi driver incentive scheme as part of its annual review of taxi fares.

Further consideration required.

Transport NSW will consider options for future adjustment of the WAT Driver Incentive Payment.

PAGE 11 OF 15

 

Transparency and accountability

41. NSWTI establish a publicly available register of taxi licence owners by July 2011.

Supported.

Transport NSW will continue to publish the names of the holders of new annual licences. In relation to existing licence holders, Transport NSW is reviewing legal advice regarding privacy legislation to determine how information can be published and will publish summary data on ownership profiles.

 

42. Minister for Transport, through NSWTI, publish all of the reports and reviews that have been conducted into the NSW Taxi Industry

Supported.

Transport NSW has published a large number of taxi reports and reviews, and will continue to publish key documents to meet the requirements of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009.

 

43. Minister for Transport investigate the feasibility of establishing an independent regulator to monitor administration and enforcement of the regulatory framework in NSW.

Not supported.

Transport NSW's regulation of the industry is routinely and independently monitored by the NSW Audit Office, the Administrative Decisions Tribunal, as well as the Ombudsman and other independent authorities, where required.

Taxi fares are also independently reviewed by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal, which takes into account the industry's cost structure and service levels experienced by passengers.

Transport NSW will be publishing data on enforcement activities and resulting compliance action.

A new independent regulator is not required, as these existing mechanisms for independent overview are considered effective

 

44. NSWTI undertake a community awareness campaign to encourage more people to provide feedback to the Customer Feedback Management System (CFMS).

Supported.

Transport NSW will publish customer feedback data from the Customer Feedback Management System (CFMS) and will further promote its use by passengers.

Transport NSW undertakes a pre-Christmas compliance strategy each year, including promotion of the customer feedback hotline number. This number is displayed inside every taxi, along with information on how to make a complaint.

 

45. NSWTI establish a specific unit within the CFMS to deal with complaints about taxi services for people with accessibility issues.

Supported in principle.

The Customer Feedback Management System already identifies complaints relating to wheelchair accessible taxi services or passengers with a disability. No specific unit is necessary. Data on such feedback will be included in published information.

PAGE 12 OF 15

 

46. NSWTI publish disaggregated performance data on the basis of network, geographic area and time of day.

Supported.

Each quarter, Transport NSW will publish monthly disaggregated performance data for each taxi network in Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong and the Central Coast for trips booked from 1 July, as reports become available by November 2010.

In addition, a review of taxi network standards in the next three months will consider which standards should be measured and reported on in future.

 

47. NSWTI finalise and implement key performance indicators for regional and rural taxi networks, to commence in July 2011.

Supported.

The current review of network standards includes consideration of the standards to be met by country networks.

 

48. NSWTI undertake an annual, independent and random survey of customer satisfaction and publish the results of that survey on its website.

Supported in principle.

Transport NSW plans to conduct a regular random survey of taxi passenger satisfaction and publish the results.

 

49. NSWTI examine ways to measure the performance of rank and hail taxis as part of its assessment of the performance of the entire NSW taxi industry.

Supported in principle.

Transport NSW plans to conduct a random survey of passenger satisfaction, including availability of taxis for hire from ranks and street hail. A mystery shopper program will also be considered for introduction in 2011.

 

50. NSWTI finalise the reestablishment of a taxi advisory committee, to meet regularly and report to the DG of NSWTI on its deliberations, and consisting of a broad range of stakeholders,

by December 2010

Supported.

Transport NSW will establish a Taxi Advisory Group, to meet regularly and provide input to the development of policy and regulation relating to taxi services for passengers.

PAGE 13 OF 15

 

Employment conditions and entitlements for taxi drivers

51. Minister for Transport pursue an amendment to the Passenger Transport Regulation 2007 to require all taxis in the NSW fleet to be fitted with GPS devices.

Not supported.

Drivers are able to use a GPS device to assist with finding less well known locations however, it is not cost-effective to require all drivers or operators to provide a GPS device. All new taxi drivers in Sydney must undergo training and then sit the Sydney Locality Knowledge and Regulation test to assess their skills.

Drivers must have a strong knowledge of localities in the Sydney CBD, surrounding suburbs and major routes before they are authorised to drive a taxi. Drivers are also expected to know how to use a street directory efficiently. Since 2008, 8 new applicants have had their applications for an authority refused for failing the test. Drivers who are the subject of a complaint regarding their locality knowledge are referred for re-assessment, re-training or, if necessary, suspension or cancellation of their taxi driver authority. Since 2008, 23 taxi drivers have had their authority suspended for poor locality knowledge and directed to re-training and assessment.

 

52. NSWTI review the current driver training program and increase the amount of time that is allocated to teaching about occupational health and safety, as well as industrial rights issues.

Supported in principle.

Provision of information to trainee and existing taxi drivers on industrial rights and occupational health and safety is supported. Current taxi driver training in Sydney includes a presentation from the Transport Workers' Union on industrial rights and occupational health and safety requirements.

In late 2009, NSW Industrial Relations conducted a campaign to educate taxi operators and drivers about their obligations and entitlements under the applicable industrial instrument, the Taxi Industry (Contract Drivers) Contract Determination, 1984. This included wide distribution of the NSW Industrial Relations `taxi industry fact sheet', which is also available on its website. A link will be included on the Transport NSW website to this fact sheet.

 

53. Minister for Industrial Relations request that the NSW Industrial Relations Commission review the Taxi Industry (Contract Drivers Contract Determination 1984, to reflect the current needs of the NSW taxi industry.

Further consideration required

Review of the Taxi Industry (Contract Drivers) Contract Determination 1984 will be considered following completion of the NSW Industrial Relations compliance campaign in the taxi industry in early 2011.

 

PAGE 14 OF 15

Working conditions for taxi drivers

54. NSWTI review the new specification for security cameras to ensure that the most technically advanced cameras are installed in all NSW taxis and that footage generated by those cameras is retained for a minimum of 60 days.

Not supported.

Following consultation with industry and equipment providers, Transport NSW recently introduced new specifications for security camera systems in taxis. A minimum of three security cameras are now required in every taxi in NSW. The new specifications provide for greater memory, continuous image recording and greater image enhancement than previous specifications and are equivalent to, or better than, those applying in other states. Operators are free to install equipment which exceeds these tougher standards.

 

55. Minister for Transport pursue an amendment to the Passenger Transport Regulation 2007 to increase the penalties faced by taxi operators if their vehicle is identified as unroadworthy.

Further consideration required.

The current penalties ($150 on-the-spot fine or $550 maximum court imposed penalty) for an unroadworthy vehicle will be reviewed to ensure they remain effective. In addition, the high frequency regular inspections (outlined at Recommendation 6), coupled with regular and random audits of vehicle condition are also regarded as effective mechanisms for maintaining the roadworthiness of taxis.

In addition to such fines, if a taxi is found to be unroadworthy, it is immediately withdrawn from service until repairs are carried out and the taxi is re-inspected and cleared. More serious matters may also lead to a taxi operator's accreditation being suspended or cancelled.

Transport NSW compliance officers and Authorised Taxi Inspection Station inspectors are authorised to issue non-compliance notices and defect notices which provide either a set time to repair or require immediate removal from operation until repaired, re-inspected and cleared.

In the last year, Transport NSW compliance officers undertook over 9,000 on-road inspections and issued 1,000 non-compliance notices, with 509 taxis being immediately removed from operation. Such compliance actions provide strong and effective incentives for operators to maintain their taxis' roadworthiness.

 

56. NSWTI, together with RTA, undertake a review of current parking and driving regulations that affect taxi services, with the aim of facilitating greater ease of pickup and set-down of passengers and enabling taxis to drive along transitways.

Supported in principle.

The RTA coordinates the Taxi Access Working Party which has an ongoing objective of extending access for taxis wherever practical and safe to do so.

As referred to at Recommendation 13, the RTA will continue to liaise with the taxi industry and local councils in the identification and provision of suitable locations for taxi ranks, especially in areas of significant passenger demand. Local councils will be referred to the RTA's guidelines for use of "No Stopping Taxis Excepted 1 Minute Limit" zones.

Taxi access to dedicated bus transitways was previously investigated in detail and determined that it is not possible to provide shared bus and taxi access due to road safety, bus service efficiency and other technical concerns. Taxis may use T2 and T3 Transit Lanes.

PAGE 15 OF 15\

 

57. NSWTI review the content of the driver training course to include information about insurance rights and responsibilities as a compulsory component of the course.

Supported.

Transport NSW will produce and publish a fact sheet regarding insurance obligations for both drivers and operators – and will include this information in taxi driver training.

 

58. NSWTI send information to all licensed taxi operators reminding them of their obligations in relation to insurance and their responsibilities in relation to insurance excess.

Supported.

Transport NSW will distribute copies of the insurance fact sheet to all taxi operators and drivers at renewal of their accreditation and authorisation.

 

59. NSWTI prepare plain English information sheets outlining a driver's rights and responsibilities in regard to insurance issues for distribution to drivers.

Supported.

Transport NSW will distribute copies of an insurance fact sheet to all taxi operators and drivers at renewal of their accreditation and authorisation. This will provide information in plain English, to assist drivers and operators to clearly understand their rights and responsibilities relating to insurance.

 

 


--- In NSWTDAFORUM@yahoogroups.com, "tedtaxifo" <tedhirsch@...> wrote:
To all,


I have it on good authority that this afternoon the Minister for Transport will table the 59 Recommendations of the Parliamentary Inquiry for determination. (Deadline 1 Dec 2010 !)


It is expected that the outcomes will be posted tomorrow on the Parliamentary website and/or the TNSW website (which is extremely difficult to find things on IMO).

If anyone sees the outcomes, then please copy it onto this site for the information of drivers. (And especially for those drivers who spent huge amounts of time representing the interest of taxi drivers in these issues.)


Cheers,
Ted

 

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