Tasmanian tourism authorities target ‘frontline’ taxis

lukemartin.themercury

(Picture) The Mercury: Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania chief executive Luke Martin says taxis are an important part of the state’s transport links and need to reflect the “world-class” visitor experience.

Tourism chief says Tasmanian taxis our ‘frontline’ and must improve

From The Mercury (Hobart, News Ltd), 22nd August 2014

THE equivalent of one cab a week is found to be in breach of taxi regulations, new statistics show.

Information provided to the Mercury from the Department of State Growth shows transport inspectors issued 53 defect notices to Tasmanian cab drivers last financial year – a slight rise from the year before.

The Mercury revealed yesterday a recent sting at the Hobart International Airport, undertaken in collaboration with the Australian Federal Police, found about one third of taxi drivers were breaching taxi regulations.

The sting prompted an email from airport management to taxi drivers calling for them to pick up their game.

A spokeswoman from the Department of State Growth told the Mercury Transport Inspectors looked at 1450 taxis last year – finding defects with two taxis in the North West, 25 in the North and 26 in the South.

CALL TO CLEAN UP RANK TAXIS

The defects include drivers not having the appropriate identification or licences.

“The defects are cleared by the normal process which is either self-clearing for minor defects or by an Approved Inspection Station,” the spokeswoman said.

“If the defects are not fixed, the vehicle’s registration is suspended and then cancelled.

“The Department of State Growth takes the enforcement of taxi regulations very seriously.

“In relation to the operation earlier this month, the Department is currently ensuring all defects are dealt with appropriately.

Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania chief executive Luke Martin said yesterday taxi drivers and their vehicles were the frontline of the Tasmanian tourism industry.

“We want to be aspiring to have a quality in at every level and that includes the taxi industry,” Mr Martin said.

“We do need to have a structure around quality assurance.”

Mr Martin said places such as NZ, the Gold Coast and Brisbane had made significant efforts to ensure the local taxi industry was reflective of the world-class tourism destinations.

“World-class tourism destinations have world-class visitor transport links,” he said.

“Taxis very much need to be part of the visitor experience.”

Road worthiness and safety of the vehicle, security camera operation, and accreditation related checks such as ID are checked as part of inspections.

The checks don’t include cleanliness of the vehicle or minor body damage that doesn’t affect the road worthiness of the vehicle.

matthew.smith@news.com.au