Tribunal wants to put brakes on regional NSW taxi fares

YOU time it perfectly - knock off work, leave the car somewhere safe, hit the pub for happy hour and get home without breaking the bank or the law.

But all your best attempts at a cheap night out are for nought when you see that huge, illuminated fare mocking you from between the taxi seats.

Now downtrodden bank balances have the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal on their side.

IPART has released a draft report recommending a freeze on all taxi fares in areas of New South Wales outside Sydney.

Not only that - the tribunal also wants to change how taxis are licensed to address an undersupply in many parts of regional NSW.

"Despite growing demand in some areas, we have found that the current taxi licensing arrangements inhibit effective entry to and competition in the taxi industry outside Sydney," IPART chairman Dr Peter Boxall said.

"In particular, the method for calculating the issue price of new licences creates a barrier to entry in areas where new licences are most needed.

"This has resulted in an undersupply of licences in many areas, and passengers paying more than the efficient cost of providing the service."

The IPART investigation found the cost of taxi licences varied considerably across the state - some trading for less than $10,000, with others costing more than $400,000.

Submissions to the draft report will be accepted until May 15 before being presented to the government to be considered for adoption.

In the meantime, we might have to take turns as designated driver.



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