WAGGA cab owner Doug Kinder has slammed the state government’s relaxation of maintenance rules as “pathetic”.
The state government lowered standards for taxis following the legalisation of Uber last week.
Mr Kinder operates Advanced Transmissions and is an authorised taxi inspector.
“The new rules are pathetic,” Mr Kinder said.
Standards cover everything from the age of the taxi to body panels, wheelchair access, seat and floor coverings.
Taxi inspectors no longer have to fail a taxi if it does not have air conditioning, does not having working interior lights or windows or child restraint anchor bolts.
Mr Kinder said he would continue to follow the older rules which ensured a higher standard.
He said the new regulations, meant if an old lady opened a taxi door and the door strap was not working properly, it could fall back on the passenger – potentially causing serious injury.
“We took a cab off the road because the air-conditioning was not working the best, it’s easier to get rid of a shift than to run a cab without air conditioning (in 40 degree heat).”
Mr Kinder said the convenience and accessibility aspect of Uber was good.
“But there’s no security, no safety and no guarantees any more,” he said.
“I don’t think Uber will be a serious thing in Wagga, there’s not enough daytime or weeknight work,” Mr Kinder said.
Mr Kinder said one of the problems faced by taxi drivers was ‘dead jobs’ where a taxi is booked, but alternative transport is arranged without cancelling the request.
Even though the regulations had been relaxed, Mr Kinder said Uber drivers still did not face the costs of taxis.
Greenslips can cost up to $3500, $900 for registration and a further $5000 for comprehensive insurance, further costs included lights, CCTV and EFTPOS.
All these costs are on top of a purchasing a taxi plate and Mr Kinder said the government’s compensation for plate owners of $20,000 would not go far.
“I paid a lot of money for the taxi plate, it’s value has halved,” he said.
“All the work, done to get ahead – is for nothing.”
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