Taxi regs are stone cold pain for users
Cooya women left stranded in Port Douglas due to red tape
We always thought we could use Mossman’s disability taxi as back up. I just thought it was commonsense John McRoberts, Port Douglas Taxis
WHEELCHAIRBOUNDMichelle 0Storey, of Cooya, and friend Jillian had planned their day in Port Douglas thoroughly but a combination of circumstances turned it into a disaster.
They don’t often visit Port, or even get outside Cooya much. They had even planned it so they would bring back with them, when the day was over, six pizzas for their families.
“Some days before the trip, we rang Port Douglas Taxis to book their disability taxi to pick us up at the pizza shop at 5:30pm,” Michelle told the
“And we confirmed twice more before the day of the trip.
“But when the time came for the pick up – and we are waiting there with $100 worth of pizzas – no taxi came.
“After a while we rang them up and a call centre in Hobart told us there had been a booking via an app and the taxi was on its way to Cairns.”
The taxi company did try to source another taxi to rescue the stranded women. Eventually the ladies got home but several hours had passed.
There is one more disability taxi in the Shire – in Mossman, but regulations say Mossman taxis are not allowed to do pick ups in Port Douglas – and that includes the disability taxi.
Apart from the Port Douglas taxi company re-routing their pick up to Cairns, what the ladies are much upset about is this set of regulations around taxi operation areas.
John McRoberts, owner of Port Douglas Taxis, agrees the regulations need to change.
He said an automated booking was sent to his disability taxi an hour before the ladies’ booked pick up. “Unfortunately the driver just went and picked the people up because it was a long time before the other pick up. But he didn’t know the destination and then discovered it was Cairns and off he went.”
The taxi company contacted the driver but he was still a long way from Port, so they tried to see what else they could do.
“We always thought we could use Mossman’s disability taxi as back up,” Mr McRoberts said. “I just thought it would be commonsense.
“In big places like Brisbane, who have multiple disability taxis, it’s not a problem. But it doesn’t work here. These rules have been in existence forever. But now it’s an anomaly.”
Mr McRoberts has been in touch with MP Rob Pyne in Cairns.
“I couldn’t fix the problem on the day, so I need him to take a look at it,” he said.
Michelle Storey . . . just wanted a day out