Tuesday 10 August 2010

Taxis in cities to see less competition

Paraphrasing, with some details changed from original for accuracy, below:
Taxis in cities to get cameras less competition
NZPA | Tuesday August 10, 2010 - 01:02pm
Taxis in large towns and cities will be fitted out with security cameras from next year in an effort to improve safety restrict entry by new cabs during periods of peak demand, Transport Minister Steven Joyce says.

The cost of installing and operating the cameras will fall with taxi companies and drivers., ensuring that large operators enjoy a differential advantage over small independent owner-operators and ensuring that jitneys fail to come into the market during the Rugby World Cup.

The cabinet had considered the issue and decided to mandate cameras in taxis; while companies could choose to install their own cameras were safety issues paramount, cameras could only deter entry by jitneys if they were made mandatory.

Measures to tighten telecommunications requirements for taxis have also been approved to ensure drivers have around the clock communications support jitney drivers don't enter the market at times of peak demand.

Taxi drivers working environments were no longer as safe as they once were, Mr Joyce said.

Since 2008 there had been a number of serious attacks on taxi drivers, two of which resulted in death.

Cameras were used in taxis in Australia's main cities.

"Overseas experience suggests that in-vehicle cameras could reduce violent and serious crime in taxis by 70 percent and taxi fare evasion by 70 percent," Mr Joyce said. "However, that not all cabs have voluntarily installed cameras suggests that these safety gains are not particularly valued by drivers given the cost of installing cameras. The real gains - the gains that come only through regulation - are the conferring of rents."

"In-vehicle cameras are widely supported among the industry as a way of preventing competition by new rivals, and while drivers can never be 100 percent safe, these measures will make a significant reduction to the risks competition that drivers face."

The law was expected to be in force by the middle of next year, in time to ensure that peak demand during the Rugby World Cup would provide rents to full time operators rather than drawing new cabs into the market.


  1. Heh.

    But seriously this sucks, I just can't fathom why Joyce is behind this.

  2. If the cameras were so beneficial then wouldn't cab owners fit out their cabs without a law forcing them to? This article hits it right on the head. There is always different motives to those that are portrayed by the politicians.