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Taxi politics, my favourite!
Look, I would like to criticize the cabal that rules this industry ad nauseum, but have to admit that they only get away with what they do because we, the drivers and backbone of the industry, let them have their way.
This can be explained by a strong streak of independence and the fact that most cabbies are recent migrants that have no voice whats however.

If I'd have to get into the various reasons of why the Taxi game is a monopoly that survives on the labour of someone else's sweat, we would be here all day.

My suggestion as to how level the playing field and improve the service: give me and all the other long term cabbies the free plate we deserve! Nobody ever paid us super, holiday or sick pay, and when the economy tanks we have to wear it whilst the management still rakes it in.
With that you will assure a pool of professional drivers involved in the industry, which will result in better service levels and gives the newcomers an incentive to stay in the game.

Free plates to Networks? Like giving booze to an Alcoholic.

Well said, Rainer. Few drivers have the time or energy to investigate the taxi tzar's influence so it's good to see the media making a concerted effort. Just wonder how long before they, like others before, give up and drop the issue.

Yep, free plates for long term drivers is a great suggestion and I believe this was proposed in Victoria. Not sure, though, if it actually eventuated. It would sure give some financial stability for drivers.

Oh, and how about the arrogance of the NSW Govt resisting a directive from the National Competition Council to open up the industry or be fined. To which Bob Carr said get stuffed and paid the $19m fine, with our money !?

I like the idea of free plates to long term drivers. I'm not sure how you would do it but it you could prove that you have driven a taxi for say 10-15 years, then you are automatically awarded a plate. It'll never happen though because the taxi council won't allow it as it will destroy the value of the plates they have.

In NSW, taxi plates were given out to drivers who had driven full time for 10 years. This was a reward to those who stayed in the industry, and was an incentive to keep experienced drivers in the game.

The scheme was abolished in the mid 80's under (surprise) the Wran government, obviously because more plates being released diminished the value of the plates owned by investors.

Just as an aside, I have picked up Neville Wran in the cab. He paid cash, and left a tip. I also picked up Reg Kermode from the city to Cabcharge HQ in Darlinghurst. The metered fare was $9.90. He paid (via Cabcharge voucher) exactly $9.90.

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