Taxi services expected to improve

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram New taxi drivers will be put through their paces before being able to apply to become a taxi driver, with the new knowledge test now in effect, Victorian Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder said this week.Assessing drivers across a number of key areas, the Knowledge test is one of the Victorian Coalition Government’s taxi and hire car reforms aimed at improving driver standards across the industry.“We know that passengers have been frustrated by some taxi drivers who don’t know how to take them where they want to go,” Mr Mulder said.“Poor customer satisfaction was one of the reasons we undertook the taxi inquiry and we’re now implementing the biggest reform to the taxi industry Victoria has ever seen.“We want to make the whole industry better for customers, drivers and the industry itself.The Knowledge test is the first of its magnitude and standard in Australia and will be administered at a number of sites across Melbourne. Drivers will be assessed across a number of key areas including customer service, driver behaviour and geographical knowledge, before they are allowed out on the roads and interacting with passengers.Chair of the Taxi Services Commission (TSC) Graeme Samuel said that the assessment process is rigorous and the TSC makes no apology for that.“Passengers are tired of drivers not knowing where they are going. No one wants to jump in a cab, give the driver directions and then be asked how to get there. It’s just not good enough.“Now is the time for the industry to take stock and improve the way it serves its passengers, and the Knowledge is the first step in doing that,” Mr Samuel said.All new drivers will be required to do the Knowledge test prior to applying for accreditation from 30 June 2014, while drivers with less than five years’ experience will also be required to do the Knowledge test as part of their renewal.In several weeks’ time, passengers will be able to tell which drivers have passed the knowledge (and subsequently received their accreditation) as they will wear a badge and also be allowed to put a sticker on their cab.While drivers who are new must pass the Knowledge, as must those with less than five years’ experience when up for renewal, anyone else who chooses to can sit the test.As from this week taxi drivers will also benefit from other reforms taking effect from this week, with new implied conditions now forming part of all driver agreements.“Drivers will now take home a minimum of 55 per cent of the fare box (rather than the 50-50 split that they used to), so drivers will be better compensated for the work that they do.“We want to encourage cabbies to take up taxi driving as a career, with better pay and better prospects and the ability to work towards owning and running their own cab if they want to,” said the Victorian Minister for Public Transport.last_img read more

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