We see taxis all around us every day, and some of us even book cabs on a regular basis, but we rarely ever think about the past of taxi history. Have you ever wondered how taxis originated? How much bigger and better are these networks getting each day? Though some of us believe that these things have always been there like this, we were indeed taking things for granted. If so, it’s time to rethink. How do you get from a Hackney coach to a luxurious motor taxi? Curious? Let’s dive into the details.
It’s not overstating things to claim that Sydney is one of the world’s best cities and that every travel enthusiast should make it a point to visit. Sydney is home to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House, two of the world’s most recognizable structures, but it also has some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, world-class museums, stunning botanical gardens, fine dining restaurants, vibrant neighborhoods, and countless landmarks representing the city’s rich cultural history. In such a hustle and bustle, taxis play a vital role in Sydney.
Government Regulations and Policies
Each Australian state and territory has strict regulations regarding taxis, and these regulations reflect each state’s unique history and organizational structure. There were less than 22,000 taxis in Australia, followed by less than 7,500 in NSW as of December 2014. Taxis in Australia must be registered and must have taximeters installed in order to legally operate. Taxi fares are regulated by respective jurisdictions. Vehicles that do not have meters are often referred to by other names, such as hire cars, limousines, carpools, etc., rather than taxis. These days, LPG is the fuel of choice for most cabs. One of Australia’s largest taxi networks is owned and operated by A2B Australia. Their Cabcharge payment system is used by 98% of all taxis in the country.
The elderly and handicapped people benefit greatly from taxi services. Government intervention has assured taxi services’ equality, dependability, quality, and safety. Regulation has hampered competitiveness by creating entrance hurdles. In April 1995, the federal, state, and territory governments signed the Competition Principles Agreement, which mandated all jurisdictions to examine competition-restricting laws by 2000. The regulated business faces threats from the deregulated vehicle-for-hire firms like Uber because to competition law, the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (and earlier laws), and increasing technology.
-Transport subsidy scheme:
The Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme (TTSS) aids residents of New South Wales who are unable to use public transportation due to a severe and permanent disability.
If qualified, individuals could receive a 50% taxi fare subsidy, up to a maximum subsidy of $60, and only pay the remaining fare. This includes travel in wheelchair-accessible taxis.
To apply for the TTSS, you must do the following:
- Be an Australian permanent resident.
- Normally, they live in New South Wales.
- be over the age of school and not be a member of a similar scheme in another Australian state or territory (preschool-aged children, regardless of disability, are not eligible)
- have a severe and permanent disability in one of the categories listed below:
- impairment in ambulation, mobility, or functional vision.
- Epilepsy, intellectual disability (cognitive impairment), and/or speech and/or hearing impairment
A Brief History:
Australia had taxis soon after the UK and Europe. In 1906, Sydney and other states introduced motorized taxis.
Once cities were founded, Australia adopted horse-drawn taxis. In Queensland, Brisbane launched the first horse-drawn taxis. These also featured hansom taxis, which had a closed-in passenger compartment with two tiny doors and glass windows and a high-seated driver. This was a common English vehicle. Brisbane’s Hansom taxis operated from a rank on George Street until 1935.
Period taxis comprised tourers and sedans. These were mostly French-built Renaults meant as taxis, resembling hansom cabs. Brisbane has many that ply Alice Street outside Parliament House and George Street outside the Supreme Court. As with hansom taxis, Renaults catered to judges, barristers, and other notables. The drivers wore uniforms with leggings, the same as those used by chauffeurs of horse-drawn carriages.
Each significant taxi firm had phones installed in steel boxes at city and suburban ranks, directly connected to switch control centers.
A few horse-drawn taxis operated in Brisbane until the early 1920s. Rural communities still have them.
In the late 1920s, sedans comprised comparable manufacturers. This was true until World War II. American automobiles worked better in Australia, especially taxis. GM, Ford, and Chrysler made thousands in Australia.
Current Structure and Scenario
New South Wales has around 7,500 taxis and around 22,000+ drivers, the most in Australia.
Small-scale taxi firms pay membership fees to regional or citywide radio networks. These networks provide operators and drivers with branding and phone and online booking services.
The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal of New South Wales establish the fares (IPART). Transport for New South Wales governs the sector in other respects. The New South Wales Taxi Council is responsible for the industry’s self-regulation.
The New South Wales Taxi Industry Association and the New South Wales Country Operators Association are the two groups that advocate for the interests of the state’s vehicle owners and drivers. The New South Wales Taxi Drivers Association is the trade union for the industry. Taxi drivers in New South Wales are ostensibly represented by the Transport Workers Union. There is probably a taxi service in your town or city.
Transportation Services Provided/Types of Popular Transportation Vehicles in Sydney/Most Preferred Vehicles Among Sydney Residents
Here is the list of some preferred vehicles by the locals of Sydney.
- Buses (public and private)
- Cars (Private/rental/taxis)
- Taxis (maxi, minibus, or mini-van/sedan/SUV/wagon)
- River ferries
- Sydney cruise
- electric vehicle
*Taxis also come with the feature of wheelchair accessibility.
Popular Types of Taxi Services In Sydney
Nowadays taxis are not just limited to conventional types of services that are just limited to picking and dropping off passengers from one place to other. Over a period of time, the area of services provided by taxi providers has expanded, and nowadays, taxis offer a variety of solutions to our complex needs.
Taxi services that people nowadays adopt are as follows:
- Door-to-door cab service
- School Runs Service
- Private tour taxi service.
- Sydney Tour taxi service
- Wheelchair Accessible Taxi
- Corporate accounts
- Modified vehicles for special needs
- Parcel delivery
- Group transfer
- Sydney Airport Transfers
- Baby Seat Taxi
- Race Day Transfers
- Sydney Cruise Transfers
- Wedding Day Transport
- Sydney Event Transfers
- Pet Transport Sydney
Booking taxis in Sydney
The traditional method of booking a taxi has been completely revolutionized by modern technology. Taxis are being reserved in the modern era as follows.
There are a number of ways to book a taxi and get support from the companies that run them.
- Through online means such as web-based forms, live chat, etc.
- Simply dial the number and have your say.
- Texting, WhatsApp, and so on.
Taxi providers offer various features like pre-booking, on-spot booking, etc. to provide convenience to passengers.
The future of taxis in Australia
Electric taxis are the future of transportation not only in Sydney but also all over the world. North-south Wales, Governments are persuading and implementing methods to shift to and rely more on green energy vehicles. The government offers various schemes to companies to switch to green energy vehicles. Automakers and tech titans looking for an efficient way to commercialize self-driving technology are gradually replacing the traditional taxi industry. Introducing self-driving technology and taxi-in-air services will likely shape a whole new taxi industry in the future. The types of taxis will continue to change as technology evolves and people’s needs in the modern world change along with it.
Taxis serve an important role in society by making it possible to get around at all hours (and in areas without other public transportation) with great ease. Also, taxi services have a significant positive effect on the daily lives of the people of Sydney.