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Media Release


Trains and trams, not taxis

A taxi surcharge is not the solution, say users

The Public Transport Users Association today questioned the value of a late night taxi surcharge which the State Government is considering introducing in the New Year.

PTUA Vice President Anna Morton said that even if the surcharge did encourage some taxi drivers to work late shifts, it would not solve the problem of hundreds of travellers being stranded in the city waiting for taxis, especially in the Christmas/New Year period. Instead, tram and train services should be extended until 3 am, giving people the option of catching public transport rather than relying on a taxi service which is stretched to the limit.

"Every year people complain about the lack of taxis in the city, and the government tries to work around the real problem, which is that taxis aren't designed to move large numbers of people in and out of the city. Our public transport system is perfectly geared for this, but shuts down after midnight or 1 am, leaving people with the option of a taxi or the Nightrider. For a group of people, often a taxi is cheaper then three or four Nightrider fares" said Dr. Morton.

Dr. Morton said that with the Government and police trying to reduce the incidence of drink driving, especially over the festive season, extending the operating hours of public transport should be a logical step. "People want to go out, have a few drinks and be able to get home at 2 or 3 in the morning" said Dr. Morton "we need to let them do this, and get home safely, cheaply and conveniently, without endangering themselves and others by driving."

"Many cities around the world, including New York, London and Toronto have public transport systems that run all night. Even in Perth, trains run until 2 am. Melbourne is a 24 hour city and deserves 24 hour public transport" concluded Dr. Morton.

PTUA Office 9650 7898

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Last Modified: 16 December 2002