“I ring up in the morning and book it (the taxi) for 2.30pm or 3.30pm in the afternoon and it turns up an hour and a half late,” he said.
“Time is important when I’m visiting someone in aged care.”
Geelong Taxi Network’s Peter Valentine said a national staff shortages, across multiple sectors, was impacting the taxi industry.
“In general, like most sectors of business, at the moment people are struggling to get staff or sub-contractors or the like,” he said.
‘The transport industry is no different.
“It’s an issue with both ride share and taxis.”
Mr Valentine said the “pitfalls” of the deregulation of the industry in 2017 were being felt due to the surge pricing model used by ride share operators.
He said the taxi network was continuing to provide the most reliable service possible.
“It’s trying to service everyone as quick as possible, but the state is suffering – some regulatory change would be the smartest and quickest way to fix the issue.”
A recent parliamentary inquiry into the state’s Multi Purpose Taxi Program, which provides subsidised travel to people with accessibility concerns and disabilities, heard concerns about waiting times for taxis.
“If we really need to be somewhere at a particular time, we usually have to book it half an hour or an hour earlier than we need to just to ensure that we get there, because if it does not turn up, you know, we are in a lot of trouble because we cannot just hop on a tram,” Barb Watts told the inquiry.
Long waiting times were found to particularly impact those who needed wheelchair accessible vehicles.
A state government spokesman said the government was committed to improving transport options for all residents.
“We are improving accessible transport options for all Victorians through programs including the Multi Purpose Taxi Program (MPTP) expansion project,” he said.
In the 2020/21 financial year, 3,770,251 trips were taken in the MPTP program with an average wait time of 6.4 minutes.
Fares for booked CPV services are deregulated, which allows booking service providers to adjust their fares in response to market conditions.
DRIVE NOW reports on various topics regarding the