Point To Point Transport Commissioner, Barbara Wise in Tamworth

LEVEL FIELD: Commissioner Barbara Wise said the new laws would create a level playing field between taxi drivers and other transport providers. Photo: Peter Hardin

LEVEL FIELD: Commissioner Barbara Wise said the new laws would create a level playing field between taxi drivers and other transport providers. Photo: Peter Hardin

TAMWORTH Radio Cabs will have the ability to set its own booking fees under new laws set to shake-up the industry.

At a forum in the city on Thursday, the state’s Point To Point Transport Commissioner, Barbara Wise, met with local drivers over new regulations to come into effect in November.

The series of forums is underway while the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) examines licence numbers in regional areas and the maximum fares for taxi rank and hail services across the state.

Commissioner Wise said the changes would provide more choice and flexibility for customers and greater autonomy for the industry which would impact on taxis, hire cars and ride share systems.

“One (change) residents of Tamworth are going to notice is the Government is making changes to fares for taxis,” she said. “If you make a booking for a taxi from the first of November it would be the taxi company that sets the fares for that trip – it won’t be the government setting a maximum.

“The reason for this change is if you think about other kinds of service providers, they have always been able to set their own fares and this is about leveling the playing field and giving taxi companies the same opportunity to compete on price and if that means if they discount prices at certain times then that’s a great win for customers.”

She said the new laws would allow the transport industry to adopt new technologies, set competitive prices and establish more flexible business operations.

Tamworth Radio Cabs operations manager Tristan Rainey said there would be no fee increases in Tamworth.

“We won’t be increasing, we will be making it more viable,” he said. “We are in a position where we can help the community really and we’re seeing the positives in this. It’s good to see a bit of accountability introduced into the market.”