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Zero tolerance for illegal Taxi parking

Zero tolerance for illegal parking by taxis gets go ahead

Auckland City’s Transport Committee has approved plans for a crack down on illegal parking and driving behaviour by taxis in the central city.

Measures include a zero tolerance for illegal parking, which means parking officers will no longer give warnings for taxis double parking and other parking offences.

The council has also committed to creating a dedicated taxi enforcement team (within existing staff resources) and working with the Police and Land Transport Safety Authority to develop a system for joint enforcement operations to check taxis are meeting all required regulations and standards.

The measures are intended as short term solutions to improve safety and enforce the law in the central area, by addressing issues such as the overcrowding of taxi ranks, illegal double-parking and inappropriate driving behaviour by taxi drivers.

“We need to get the message across that the current flaunting of the road rules and regulations cannot continue,” said Councillor Greg McKeown, Transport Committee chairperson. “The council has to take steps to protect the public’s safety and access to the CBD, and redress the balance of taxi numbers with demand for them.”

A recent research poll of residents found that 30% of residents consider they have been affected by taxis-double parking.

The committee also gave the go-ahead for council staff to investigate long-term options, including changes to the location, size and number of taxi ranks in the city, and promoting hailing of taxis.

“There is currently an expectation by some taxi operators that council should provide unlimited taxi rank space in the CBD. This is unrealistic and it is our job to analyse, in consultation with the taxi companies, what the appropriate level of space allocated to taxi ranks should be, according to demand at particular times of the day.

“We also need to balance the need for taxis ranks along with other needs for kerbside space, like bus stops, disability parking, loading zones and short term parking. If hailing can become a more accepted way of catching a cab then that may also help free up valuable on-street parking areas, and help to provide a more efficient service for the public. It’s all part of the bigger picture that needs to be considered.”

An Auckland City research poll shows that 82% of residents prefer to phone for a taxi, 23% would catch one from a rank and 13% usually hail a taxi when they need one.

In its review of taxi ranks, council will assess the possibility of allocating night-time taxi ranks in key areas such as Ponsonby Rd, Parnell and the Viaduct, to allow the safe and easy pick-up and set-down of passengers in high demand areas at night. So while areas where there is low demand for taxis during the day may see a reduction in rank spaces, the council is looking to improve access for taxis at night in popular areas.

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