27 November 2013
Around 100 of the 700 taxi drivers operating at Auckland Airport have threatened to further disrupt taxi services at the airport.
Auckland Airport spokesman, Richard Barker, says, “This action is unnecessary, unfounded and irresponsible, especially given the drivers walked out of today’s meeting without responding to any of the proposals we made to try and resolve our differences.”
“First and foremost, I can confirm that we still have more than enough taxis available to service our passengers.”
“Auckland Airport last week met with representatives of the 100 drivers, which have formed the Auckland Taxi Association, and agreed to a number of their requests to improve their airport working environment, including additional sun-shelter, drinking water, security cameras and toilet facilities. We have also agreed to review the demerit point system which operates in response to infringements by taxi drivers.”
“We have spoken with the taxi companies which operate at Auckland Airport and reminded them of the need to advise us of concerns raised by their drivers. This will enable us to promptly address such issues.”
Mr Barker says, “Auckland Airport has not agreed to the drivers’ demands that limit competition and consumer choice and negatively impact our passengers. Therefore, we have not agreed to their demand to increase the minimum taxi fare within the airport precinct from $20 to $35, their demand to stop Super Shuttles from operating at the Air New Zealand end of the domestic terminal, and their demand to relocate the dedicated taxi rank at the international terminal.”
“The location of the dedicated rank at the international terminal was agreed with all taxi companies during their tender process, and was established at the request of passengers who wanted improved access to companies such as Auckland Co-op Taxis and Corporate Cabs.”
“Rather than trying to blame others, the Auckland Taxi Association should look at the facts. Taxi business is down across the airport due to passengers deciding to use alternative transport arrangements. The free-flow drivers who are threatening to stop servicing travellers already do six out of every 10 taxi jobs from the international terminal.”
“It’s time for this small number of drivers to have a reality check. Their time would be far better spent investing in marketing their lesser-known taxi brands to encourage passengers to use them, rather than trying to eliminate their competition and making it more difficult for passengers to use their preferred taxi companies,” says Mr Barker.
Facts for media:
- Around 100 of the 700 taxis that operate at Auckland Airport have threatened protest action.
- The protesting drivers belong to the following taxi companies:
- Auckland Black Cabs
- Auckland Taxi Service / Auckland Gold Line Co-Operative Society
- VIP Cabs
- Silver Cabs
- President Taxis
- These companies already do 6 out of every 10 taxi trips from the international terminal.
- For the period March to October 2013, compared to the same period in 2012, taxi business was down across the airport, including at both the dedicated and free flow ranks, as passengers chose alternative transport modes.
- Auckland Airport conducted an open taxi tender process between November 2012 and March 2013 and did not set any minimum amounts to be paid by the taxi companies to use either the free flow ranks or the dedicated ranks.
- Auckland Airport has not increased the $2 per trip levy paid by taxi drivers since 2010.
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