Taxi driver Glenn Fowler

The Matiatia summer traffic trial, designed to improve traffic flow and to cater to the redesigned bus network, is continuing to frustrate local taxi drivers with many saying it’s hitting them severely in the pocket.

 During the first week of the trial, which began on 8 December and runs until 13 April, taxi driver Kyle Williams told Gulf News he lost money. Easy Transport owner and operator Sascha Krueger also says his company is losing money daily and Geoff Jewitt of Waiheke Executive Transport says the trial has been “an absolute abomination”. Changes to the way taxis operate in the area since the implementation of the trial include the creation of a taxi and shuttle stand within the public 30-minute parking area. The former taxi stand was closer to the ferry terminal building so taxis were clearly visible but, since it had moved, drivers say visitors unfamiliar with the island struggle to locate them. 

“They’ve moved the taxis into the carpark and the temporary pink signs are not working,” Geoff told Gulf News.

“It’s had the opposite effect of what it was designed to achieve.”

Glenn Fowler of Waiheke Island Magic Tours says he feels like he’s been “hung out to dry” by the local board after watching a job in which he could earn $700 a day last year slide to $300 a day “if I’m lucky”. Glenn’s answer is to go to the Commerce Commission. The driver believes the trial favours the double-decker buses that can park in the keyhole and says it is not a case of fair trading. • Sophie Boladeras

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… out Now!!!

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