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Notified fares YouTube clip transcript

[Vision of a radio inside a taxi. A hand comes in to switch it on.]

Rick: Welcome back to Cab FM. I'm Ricky Richards and in the studio with me is Greg from the Taxi Services Commission. G'day, Greg.

Greg: Hi, Ricky. Thanks for having me.

[Vision of a cityscape where, through a large window, we can see two people in silhouette talking into microphones.]

Rick: Well Greg, I was in Ararat in country Victoria a few weekends ago…

[Vision of a billboard in a country area. On the billboard is a map of Victoria with Ararat and Melbourne highlighted.]

Greg: Wow.

Rick: Yeah, yeah. A few of us decided to get a taxi home from a night out. We got to talking about some changes happening in the taxis in country and regional areas.

[Vision of a taxi driving past the billboard, then past a post office.]

Greg: Was that after a few beers?

Rick: May have been; I can't say on air. But anyway, someone said that drivers are now allowed to set their own fares. That can't be right.

Greg: Well, nearly Ricky – taxi operators in regional and country areas can now set their own fares. Not the drivers themselves, though.

[Vision of the taxi driving past a pub and stopping to collect two passengers from outside.]

Rick: But in a country town like Ararat, won't that just mean that passengers get … they'll ripped off?

Greg: No, not at all. It introduces competition. If one company sets their prices too high, passengers are gonna walk down the road and go to another taxi service instead.

[Vision of the couple interacting with the taxi driver then gesturing no. The taxi drives away. One of the couple gets out his phone and scrolls through his contacts until he finds 'Country Cabs'.]

Rick: Well, can't the taxi companies collude on prices? Think about out. That's what I'd do.

Greg: [laughing] Nah, networks might be able to set their fares on behalf of several operators but this is still subject to ACCC approval. In general, mate, price collusion is illegal.

[Vision on a 'Country Cabs' taxi arriving to pick up the passengers. The passengers get in and the taxi pulls away.]

Rick: Ah, point taken. But there can't be that many options in a town the size of Ararat? Could I call a taxi company from, you know, another town, say, Stawell or Avoca?

Greg: Well, you could if they'll service the Ararat area. 

Rick: Well, how are we to know?

[Vision of the taxi continuing down the country road, passing a sign depicting 'www.taxi.com.au' and then a large billboard with a map of Victoria. The map shows the four Victorian taxi zones, then zooms in on Ararat, Avoca and Stawell.]

Greg: Just check the Taxi Services Commission website. You can search to see which companies service Ararat or other Victorian towns. Companies from other towns like Stawell and Avoca can operate in Ararat because they're in the same zone.

Rick: So, what you're saying is that taxis can operate anywhere now?

Greg: Well, they can, within their zone. We used to have over a hundred taxi zones across Victoria, but that's been reduced to just four. It's all about encouraging competition and allowing the industry to innovate.

[Vision of the map changes to screen shots from the Taxi Services Commission website then back to the map.]

Rick: Well that sounds good, but I'm still not sure about these new fares. What if I don't have time to check out a website?

Greg: Well, they all have to display their maximum prices on the taxi nowadays, so it won't be hard for you to find out before you get in.

[Vision of a list of fares on the outside of the taxi.]

Rick: So they can't just make it up when I'm in the backseat?

Greg: Nah, nah. And the other great thing about this new system is that operators have the flexibility to offer discounts and special fares.

[Vision of the driver's face with a cartoon bubble containing the word DISCOUNTS.]

Rick: Like off-peak rates, for example?

Greg: Off-peak rates, exactly. Or they might even have fares for special events. If they want, they've got the flexibility to do that and so much more now.

Rick: Lots of changes, Greg. Can you hang around so we can have a chat about those?

[The vision transitions back to the radio station.]

Greg: Sure, no worries, Ricky.

Rick: Great. We'll be right back after this.

[Vision of a large billboard next to the radio station containing the TSC's contact details.]

[End of video.]