As a result, the taxi rank has also been redesigned and now features a single drop-off/pick-up lane that is similar to a parallel parking lane.
There is a bicycle lane separating the parking lane from the traffic lanes, but no physical separating median as per the previous arrangement. The physical separation is a row of bollards along the western end of the rank, which separates the queuing area for the taxi rank from the bicycle lane and is intended to prevent taxis from jumping the queue and entering part way up the rank.
There is naturally a break in the bollards at the far western end for vehicles to enter.
The taxi rank will be staffed from Monday 8 February – Sunday 21 February 2021. MSS Security will provide four (4) experienced personnel to supervise the operation (in addition to VicPol). The taxi supervisors will commence at 4:00pm each day for the first 11 days (8–18 February) and at 8.00pm for the remaining 3 days (19–21 February) and will remain on duty until one hour after the completion of each days play or until taxis are no longer required by patrons (whichever is later).
A permanent shelter has been installed at the eastern end of the taxi rank to ensure mobility impaired patrons waiting for taxis are protected from the weather conditions.
During peak times, the taxi supervisors will co-ordinate taxis with the metropolitan depots to maximise the supply of taxis.
The Taxi Rank operations are unique to the venue and the Australian Open. Some key points include:
There are public pick-up/drop-off areas designated on the north side of Olympic Boulevard, located to the east of Grand Slam Oval Entrance, in front of Melbourne Arena. However, this area is only P2min during the event for short term pick-up/drop-off and therefore cannot be used to park and wait for patrons to arrive. The area will be monitored by CoM parking officers as part of their regular patrols.
Hire cars will need to seek long term parking off-site where available, to then come and pick up at Melbourne arena when scheduled or called by their client.
The Undercover car park is an accredited area and access is restricted. Hire cars are required to submit an Undercover Car Park Access Application Form (click here for the form) and receive permission to gain access into the car park.
The hire car operations will be monitored by security officers, parking & traffic officers and Police.
In past years, Uber have entered into various levels of commercial partnership with Tennis Australia for the event and have therefore been allocated exclusive use of different areas. However, for AO2021 there has been no partnership and therefore Uber have been operationally grouped in with all of the other various Rideshare companies.
This means that there is also no ability to digitally control where pick-ups occur from through integration with the app ride ordering system and the designated rideshare areas are reliant on wayfinding signage (for both drivers and patrons) and communications to the various rideshare companies about utilising the various designated locations.
The two designated rideshare locations for AO2021 include:
The Olympic Boulevard location will be managed by two traffic controllers who will be ensuring full utilisation of the available parking bays and making sure that vehicles are not parked for too long waiting for passengers and blocking access for others.
In the event that the bays are all occupied, traffic controllers will waive any new arriving rideshare vehicles further east to the secondary overflow pick up location in front of the clay courts.
The Russell Street extension location will utilise the existing kerbside parking bays on both sides of the extension, with the roundabout at the end providing an existing turnaround facility.
Bollards and fencing will be installed down the centre of the roadway to prevent patrons and passengers from running across the road to get to their vehicle. Traffic controllers will also be on-site with a similar role of making sure drivers utilise the full capacity of the parking lanes and also preventing any vehicles from overflowing back onto Flinders Street.
Note that the signalised intersection to the extension allows left/right/through exit movements, but only left or through entry movements. The traffic controllers are given the instruction that the area is not exclusively for use by Rideshare and public vehicles will also be able to pick-up/drop-off via short-term parking, as well as being able to access the Federation Square car park facility.
Click here for the External Transport Map of the entire grounds.
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