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Plans afoot to manage taxis on Queen Street

Plans afoot to manage taxis on Queen Street

Taxis using 15-minute parking spaces on Queen Street to wait for business have been put on notice from today, as the council steps up its plans to better manage taxis in the CBD.

Road signs on Queen Street are being replaced to state the parks are for private and goods service vehicles only, and a heavier enforcement presence will support the move.

“Short-term car parks on Queen Street are essential for people to access Auckland’s premier street, and for vehicles to deliver goods to businesses,” says Councillor Richard Simpson, Auckland City’s Transport and Urban Linkages Committee chairperson.

“Some taxis are monopolising these car parks, disadvantaging legitimate parkers such as shoppers by taking up valuable space.”

The council says the move will help balance taxi supply with public demand.

“It’s estimated there are over 4000 taxis operating across Auckland,” says Mr Simpson.

“Taxis definitely play an important role in moving people around the city. Respecting this, Auckland City has recently completed a review of ranks to better meet the needs of both the public and the taxi industry, while balancing demand for premiere CBD street space. “There are over 200 spaces in the CBD specifically for taxis. We have worked to ensure these are located where and when they are needed to best serve the public. The council isn’t here to provide parking spaces for taxis when they are not serving customers, especially when it impacts other street users, such as shoppers,” says Mr Simpson.

The move is also aligned with the Queen Street upgrade, scheduled to begin in September this year, and has the support of the local business association, Heart of the City, and the New Zealand Taxi Federation.

“The number of taxis in Auckland has increased exponentially since de-regulation in 1989,” says Tim Reddish, the federation’s executive director.

“We have no problem with a free-market approach. We just want to make sure there’s an even playing field to compete on.

“The public is encouraged to reward good taxi behaviour by choosing taxis from ranks or hailing cabs, not letting taxis benefit by breaking parking restrictions.”

Further actions to manage taxis in Auckland’s CBD will be considered by the Transport and Urban Linkages Committee in August.

Ends

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