Fixed taxi fares from airports?

The Herald reports:

says it would like to have a fixed taxi fare price for the journey into the city to stop some drivers charging exorbitant fares – but it can’t take any action until current contracts expire in 2016.

I’m not sure that is a great idea. There’s nothing stopping a taxi company offering a fixed fare. Plus you have buses and shuttles which have fixed fares.

What I would like to see is a website that shows all the taxi firms in a city and what each one charges. Then one can know in advance which firms are the cheapest.

I always use Combined as their drivers speak English, don’t get lost, have decent cars, don’t stink of food, take Taxicharge and I know their tariffs. Very rarely have had a bad experience with them.

For visitors arriving from overseas, I can see the appeal of a fixed fare, as they may not know which firms are good to choose. But I’m not sure there is a huge variation in tariffs per km. I think the problem is that sometimes you get a driver who doesn’t take the shortest route – but that is actually an offence.

UPDATE: A reader points out that David Cunliffe promised in his leadership campaign higher wages for taxi drivers, so I guess that will push the prices right up.

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