THE changing taxi services industry is facing unprecedented challenges – many of which depend on the state government regulation of competing services like Uber.
Ballarat’s Janet Dore, who chaired the Taxi Reform Hardship fund, has been announced as one of three new Taxi Services Commissioners. The former chief of the Transport Accident Commission and the City of Ballarat will work alongside new Taxi Services Commission chairman Yehudi Blacher and Flexicar founder Monique Conheady.
Acting Minister for Public Transport, Luke Donnellan, said the appointees would focus on helping to provide safe, reliable and accessible taxi and hire car services for all Victorians
“The new commissioners have the experience and expertise to lead the regulator during a time of significant change in Victoria’s taxi and hire car industry,” he said.
Ms Dore, who has not yet received a full role briefing, said her appointment came at a time of great uncertainty for taxi drivers – some who were second or third generation drivers. Ms Dore said her work with the Taxi Reform Hardship fund had made her acutely aware of the challengeses facing the industry, including new models of hiring cars.
“There’s an interesting time ahead in terms of regulation of the new model (which include Uber),” Ms Dore said.
“There is no doubt there is a great deal of concern. The hardship fund was devised to address specific changes in licensing for drivers – however it highlighted other issues.” In June it was announced peak taxi fare hours would be extended on Fridays and Saturdays after a decision from the Essential Service Commission.
The ESC’s final review into fares in metropolitan and regional areas recommended that peak hours and fares will be enforced from 7pm-6am on Fridays and Saturdays – as opposed to the previous peak of 12am to 6am that exists for all days. Ms Dore would not comment directly on the prices but said she, and fellow commissioners would be operating within the parameters of policy.
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