‘Our local and honest taxi drivers are suffering’: Bob Upchurch

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It’s been more than a year since a summer traffic trial designed to improve safety at the Mātiatia ferry terminal swung into action, but since day one, island taxi drivers have raised concerns with some even lodging complaints with the Commerce Commission. 

Although the traffic trial was supposed to be just that, a trial, several of the changes made when it was put in place have remained despite widespread dissatisfaction.

This week, the issue again came to the forefront of local body politics with a letter signed by 30 island operators emailed to the Waiheke Local Board and Auckland Transport. In the letter, island resident and taxi operator Rajan Kumar notes that many taxi drivers’ earnings have dropped by 50 percent since the taxi rank was moved into the 30-minute car parking area as part of the trial. Raj says he would like the local board and Auckland Transport to allow taxi operators back into the keyhole area. If this isn’t possible, he asks that they make a permanent taxi rank just opposite the drop-off zone.

“People can’t see the taxis parked where they are now and they tend to stay inside the terminal from where they call a taxi company,” he says.

“Most of the visitors come to the island to spend their weekend, so they’re carrying luggage and it’s a long walk to the taxi rank. Among them are families, senior citizens and people with mobility issues.” • Sophie Boladeras

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!

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