NSW admits taxi times flawed

THE NSW government has admitted its system for measuring taxi waiting times in Albury is flawed.

The much criticised three minutes, 15 seconds figure used by the government showed only a fraction of the total wait endured by frustrated revellers.

A spokeswoman for Transport for NSW said security guards had been instructed to record the wait times of party-goers once they reached the front of long queues.

Any time spent queuing before they reached the front of the line was ignored.

“Unfortunately, the security guards are unable to record the exact time people begin waiting for a cab from when they first join the queue,” said the spokesperson.

“(This is because) people shuffle in and out of the line and the guards are often dealing with safety and behaviour issues.”

The government’s wait times have been passed on to the Albury Council and used by the government to “evaluate” the area’s taxi system.

According to the distorted statistics, the average wait time at the Dean Street taxi rank has been slashed from six minutes, 45 seconds in August to three minutes, 15 seconds in November.

But without accurate recording methods, the real wait times remain a mystery.

On Sunday morning The Border Mail timed people waiting up to 40 minutes at secure ranks.

They were timed from when they joined the end of the queue.

The NSW government said security guards had more pressing concerns than timing revellers as they joined the queues.

“To ensure the safety of passengers and taxi drivers, the guards’ first priority is to ensure people behave themselves and the taxi line moves efficiently without any disruptions,” the spokeswoman said.

Shoddy statistics or not, the Albury Council said it would always push for a better taxi service on the Border.

Director of community and recreation James Jenkins said council was lobbying for Wodonga taxis to be allowed to service Albury, and visa-versa, but rejected requests for a council shuttle bus, saying a similar service run by the Albury Liquor Accord had proved too costly.

He said taxis made the CBD a safer place.


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