More on Auckland Airport taxis

May 8th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

A taxi company operating from has introduced fixed-fare rates to the city and North Shore after Herald stories about some drivers overcharging passengers.

Auckland Airport will start conducting mystery tests on to audit their pricing and has called for tighter Commerce Commission controls on the industry. And Labour has challenged the Government to police rogue operators and to sort out Auckland’s traffic woes to help reduce fares and travelling times.

Green Cabs yesterday announced it would charge flat fares of $65 to the city, $97 to Takapuna and $110 to Albany for airport passengers.

Great – a market solution. Some firms offer flat fares. and some do not.

Also Auckland Airport has announced:

“Given the concerns raised by the public about the high fares, Auckland Airport will now regularly undertake mystery passenger audits of taxi pick-ups from the airport. Any drivers and companies found to be charging excessive amounts or taking longer than necessary routes will be immediately reported to their employer and, if required, to the New Zealand Transport Agency.”

That’s a useful initiative.

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18 Responses to “More on Auckland Airport taxis”

  1. aquataur (59 comments) says:

    I wonder why no-one has mentioned Discount Taxis
    They offer a flat fare from the City to the Airport of $35, and $40 vice versa. Needs to be pre-booked and paid in cash.

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  2. dave53 (91 comments) says:

    Many airports especially in developing countries have booths where you can buy a fixed price taxi ride to any destination in the city. We’ve recently used these in Mexico City and Mumbai. You are assigned a taxi and just give the driver the docket. It means the authorities know who the driver is, you know he is reputable and you do not get ripped off.

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  3. dime (10,134 comments) says:

    “And Labour has challenged the Government to police rogue operators and to sort out Auckland’s traffic woes to help reduce fares and travelling times.”

    so labour came out with a soundbite that means nothing. cool.

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  4. RRM (10,034 comments) says:

    $97 to Takapuna and $110 to Albany for airport passengers.

    Sometimes I miss Auckland and wonder why I ever left. It was a fun city to be 22 in.

    But then something always comes along and reminds me :-)

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  5. peterwn (3,312 comments) says:

    “Auckland Airport … and has called for tighter Commerce Commission controls on the industry.” Trouble is, for the Airport, the Commission may also impose controls on the Airport re taxi facilities to be provided and related charges to the operator. Arguably, passengers should have free access to ground transport short of parking over say 30 minutes. You do not have to pay a ‘toll’ to use a railway station.

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  6. Ed Snack (1,927 comments) says:

    I wonder if AIAL plans to also reveal just how much it makes off each taxi fare, through charges and fees charged to the Taxi operators ?

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  7. Jim (398 comments) says:

    It’s still rather clumsy that inbound tourists not in the know are expected to shop around to avoid being scammed. I’m in favour of a market approach in principle, but doing price haggling after getting off a plane in an unfamiliar city with luggage in tow is the last thing many will be expecting.

    Perhaps an electronic fare-board with live quotes from drivers would make the market a little more transparent. The $200 guy would be sitting there all week, and reasonably priced cabs would be in high demand. The market corrects itself.

    Compare with Singapore / Seoul / Hong Kong where you can just take any cab and be reasonably certain to pay the same fare. Touts and fraudsters have been chased out by the airport authorities.

    I know that’s not an apples-to-apples comparison with Auckland – as all those cities have regulated fares – but that detail is of no consolation to people that aren’t expecting a scam on arrival.

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  8. Julian (178 comments) says:

    Auckland Airport complaining about anti-competitive behaviour. That is brilliant.

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  9. David Garrett (7,565 comments) says:

    I very much doubt every cab driver at the airport knows the shortest route to anywhere…half of them can’t even speak English…they certainly would never have got cab licences 30 years ago when I was a cabbie…

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  10. B A W (100 comments) says:

    Simple solution

    Have each Taxi display a sign saying estimate fair to various locations in Auckland. Problem solved in a few weeks as the free market forces them to compete.

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  11. Elaycee (4,410 comments) says:

    @B A W : Agree 100%.

    Not that long ago, there was signage at Wellington Airport that displayed ‘approximate’ fares from the airport to various parts of the City etc. Costs displayed were for Cabs / for Shuttles and for the Bus.

    Not hard.

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  12. johnwellingtonwells (137 comments) says:

    DG – I can go back a little further than you driving taxis in Christchurch. No fees to pick up passengers at Christchurch Airport. But that was in the days when the main purpose of an airport was to provide the means for people to get on and off aeroplanes, toilet stops and buy a sandwich/something to drink.FULL STOP. My first flight at Harewood was on one of two DC3s parked alongside a tin shed. No signage and I managed to choose the wrong one, so was directed to the other.

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  13. Chris2 (770 comments) says:

    It is not commonly known that airports make more from non-airport operations, like outrageous parking fees and $10,000 per cab annual licensing, than they do from their Airport operations.

    The rents they charge government agencies like Immigration, Customs, etc, are the higher per sq metre than Lambton Quay or Queen Street.

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  14. MT_Tinman (3,263 comments) says:

    Auckland Airport’s job is to provide parking for aeroplanes.

    I suggest they stick to that and let real people get on with earning a living.

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  15. hmmokrightitis (1,595 comments) says:

    Oh the irony. How about someone start talking to AIAL about what they charge for parking as well. Makes the taxi’s look like a good deal.

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  16. David Garrett (7,565 comments) says:

    Johnwellington: Crikey old boy, that makes you even more ancient than me! My cab driving was in Christchurch too…both Blue Star and the Goldies…it was always difficult to make a decent living, even before de-regulation…But as you know, we all knew the shortest route from the airport to Sumner…or Papanui to the Square…

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  17. ross411 (881 comments) says:

    dime (8,868 comments) says:
    May 8th, 2014 at 1:17 pm
    “And Labour has challenged the Government to police rogue operators and to sort out Auckland’s traffic woes to help reduce fares and travelling times.”

    so labour came out with a soundbite that means nothing. cool.

    Does dime ever get deja-vu. Perhaps when writing this, dime felt like he had been writing the same thing on every kiwiblog post relating to Labour soundbites..

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  18. johnwellingtonwells (137 comments) says:

    DG – if the Yanks were around when you were driving, what was your shortest time Cathedral Square to Lyttelton via Sumner and back? Mine was 38 minutes – the Blue Star record was 29 minutes

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