on air now

Surge pricing to become the norm under proposed taxi industry deregulation

Neil Mitchell

Taxi companies would be able to determine their own fares, and apply surge pricing during busy periods, under a taxi-industry shake up.

The changes are included in laws which are set to be introduced in State Parliament today. If they pass parliament, they are unlikely to affect customers until next year.

But Neil Mitchell says it’s a nonsense approach.

“The idea is for taxis to set their own fare, and as the customer can negotiate and shop around,” he said.

“What absolute rubbish. These people live in limo land.

“Think of the old lady standing on the street corner trying to get home from her doctor’s appointment.

“The cab stops, quotes her twice the fee, how does she shop around?”

Click PLAY to hear Neil Mitchell’s editorial below

Earlier, Ross and John spoke to Georgia Nicholls, Chief Executive of the Victorian Taxi Association about the proposed changes.

She said that taxi companies will be able to impose surge pricing, but the government has committed to ensuring that when there is a calamity, such as a major public transport failure, it will enter into arrangements to put a cap on fares, to ensure that price gouging doesn’t occur.

But the changes won’t mean that every taxi charges its own fees.

“The taxi companies will continue to set fares for the fleets that they control, so we hope that what that will mean is that taxi companies differentiate in the way they set their fares.”

Ms Nicholls couldn’t say whether she thought the proposed changes would lead to an increase in fares.

“I would be loathe to speculate on that, other than to say that really it provides the opportunity for companies to differentiate themselves in ways that the taxi industry hasn’t been able to before.”

Press PLAY below to hear Ross and John’s full interview with Victorian Taxi Association Chief Executive, Georgia Nicholls.

Neil Mitchell