06 May 2016
Planned improvements to the way taxis and cabs operate in Jersey should make the service more flexible and responsive to customer needs, according to the Department for Infrastructure.
It has been working with the taxi-cab industry to agree the following changes:
- the reclassification of taxi-cabs
- the introduction of measures to increase the availability of wheelchair assisted vehicles and ensure that drivers are trained to provide passenger assistance
- the introduction of an accessibility standard for all taxi-cab vehicles
- the introduction of additional part-time ranks to assist the industry to meet peak demand and clear queues.
Public consultation indicated a lack of understanding about the different taxi-cab classifications so these will be changed to most commonly used terms, and will help make the vehicles more easily identifiable.
The term ‘taxi’ will be used for vehicles that work from a rank and ‘private hire cab’ will describe the vehicles that are generally booked ahead.
Public feedback also identified too few wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAV) to meet customer needs. Following discussions with the industry, agreement has been reached for an initial increase of WAV to 20 per cent of the fleet. The situation will be monitored to ensure this is sufficient for customer demand. All WAV drivers will be trained to assist wheelchair passengers.
Currently, at peak weekend times, availability and space at the public taxi ranks doesn't meet demand. To help relieve this situation, part-time ranks will be made available at certain locations. Both taxis and private-hire cabs will be able to pick up from any part-time rank but will only be able to charge the rank tariff for the journey provided.
These changes will come into force in May after the necessary law changes have been made.
Minister for the Department for Infrastructure, Deputy Eddie Noel said “We are really pleased that following productive meetings with the taxi-cab industry, we are able to provide these improvements. We are still working with the industry and there will be more changes to follow to benefit the public.”
Taxi-cab industry representatives also welcomed the changes.