“Shut up and Drive”

By Geisha Bar

Drink driving is dangerous and the solar powered public transport system in Perth doesn’t operate after sunset so how do you get home after a night on the turps….I know let’s get a taxi. Great idea in principle and a very logical and responsible solution……But why cant I ever find a taxi on the streets of Perth? Even when i ring up and the robotic voice tells me “first available” rarely does one make itself available to me.

Simple problem, not enough cabs. Why don’t the government just issue more taxi licences and the problem will be solved. Again a great idea in principle and a very logical, responsible solution but the taxi drivers are outraged by this suggestion because…….actually i’m not quite sure why they are against you getting home. Apparently it has something to do with protecting the value of their licences and if you are able to get home they make less money.

The taxi council are always wailing that if the government grants more licences the peak hour problems may be fixed but their would be a surplus in quiet times and they would all go broke. Fair point, so the government then proposed peak hour licences to alleviate the chronic cab shortages in busy periods. Yet again great idea in principle and a very logical, responsible solution…..

But alas, the taxi drivers still aren’t happy because…..Well actually i’m not quite sure on this one either. Maybe they genuinely don’t want you to get home. The cabbies say there is a shortage of drivers not cabs and so more taxis isn’t the answer. So am I to presume there are a multitude of cabs sitting idly in garages during peak periods?……where?…..show them to me!…..provide the irrefutable evidence and then the drivers collective case would be undeniable. Yet again a great idea in priniple and a very logical, responsible solution.

But they won’t….or can’t do it……why?…..well I’m sure you can work that one out. Basically the taxi fraternity and the many investors who have made a fortune out of the licences are hell bent on ensuring the deregulated market that applies to all other businesses NEVER applies to them. This is self interest at its most vile and self centred.

Every other industry must endure the perils of competition. Coles would love Woolworths to be banned from the grocery market and I’m sure the local lunch bar would love to be the only lunch bar permitted to sell ham sandwiches. Yet the taxi council sees their closed shop as a god given right. Not only do they not have enough ham sandwiches for everyone, they are never around when people are hungry and they won’t let anyone else provide the ham sandwich when they actually don’t want to do it.

Clown time is over mr cab man. As rhianna says…..”Shut up and Drive”