Transport NSW has announced that taxi customers in regional NSW may now be asked to pay their taxi fares at the start of their journey.
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However it’s not an option Cowra’s local taxi service Lachlan Radio Cabs is looking to use, unless it was absolutely necessary.
Lachlan Radio Cabs operator Bill Kollas said that it wasn’t something they would need to implement.
“It’s something we can bear in mind, but it wouldn’t be something we use,” he said.
“We always give people an estimation first so they know how much they might pay, so they don’t get to the destination and say ‘I though it would be $30’ when it’s actually different.
“It is good to see they are keeping the rules uniform and the aren’t discriminating against the country taxis,” he said.
The ‘pre-paid fares’ arrangement involves a customer paying an estimated fare, and either paying the balance or receiving a refund when they reach their destination.
A Transport for NSW Spokesperson said that the introduction of pre-paid taxi fares provides greater assurance and protection to both customers and drivers.
“Up until now, pre-paid fares have been limited to specific secure taxi ranks in Sydney City and on the Central Coast,” the Transport for NSW Spokesperson said.
“Customers in country NSW can now pre-pay an estimated fare either when hailing a taxi from the street or catching one from a taxi rank.
“Feedback tells us the arrangement has been working extremely well on the Central Coast since being implemented in 2011.
“Whether a customer is asked to pre-pay their fare is entirely up to the driver. However, it’s important that customers in regional NSW are aware that if the driver does ask them to pre-pay their fare, they will be obliged to do so,” the Spokesperson said.
Pre-paid fare arrangements do not apply to customers using Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme vouchers to pay for part or all of their journeys.
For more information on how pre-paid fares work, visit https://transportnsw.info/getting-around/taxi-hire-car/pre-paid-taxi-fares.
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