WHITE is the new yellow for Ballarat’s taxis.
The first white cabs are on the road as the taxi industry begins its change-over.
The change is part of the shake-up of the taxi industry announced in May by the state government, based on an inquiry by Professor Allan Fels.
Owner-driver Stuart Barrow, whose white Holden Commodore is one of the first to take to Ballarat streets, said there were positives and negatives about introducing the new colour.
“At the moment I’m 50-50 about it,” Mr Barrow admitted.
“Obviously it’s easier, if you have a bingle, to replace parts because a lot of cars produced are white. You can go to a wreckers and just buy a white guard or door.
“However, from a customer point of view it is harder to identify as a cab, especially the elderly. It’s going to take two to three years to sort that out.”
Mr Barrow said his taxi had been mistaken for a police car once.
While the experienced driver had mixed feelings about the colour of the cabs, he remained opposed to many of the taxi reforms recommended by Professor Fels, particularly the introduction of cheaper annual licences to make it easier for new operators to enter the taxi industry.
“It will make the system worse,” Mr Barrow said. “With these cheaper licences any Tom, Dick or Harry can get into the industry.
“There is no shortage of cabs in Ballarat and if there will be more cars on the road, no one will make any money from it.”