Taxi fare rise on the way

BENDIGO'S taxi fares will increase by 12.5 per cent next month.

A 10-kilometre taxi ride will cost an extra $2.44 at $18.78 under the new fares for urban areas, including Bendigo.

Country passengers will pay $2.49 extra for a 10-kilometre trip, including flag fall and the distance fee.

There will also be a new flat rate fee of $14 when four or more passengers share a "maxi-taxi". The fee aims to increase the number of wheelchair accessible taxis.

Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder announced the additional cost, saying it would deliver a better taxi service across Victoria.

“The taxi industry has not had a fare increase in six years and Victoria can still lay claim to some of the cheapest taxi fares in Australia,” Mr Mulder said.

“We want to support the industry in transforming, and we realise that if we want better drivers and better services, we need to fairly compensate those providing these services," he said.

Mr Mulder said the increase in fares was part of wider taxi and hire car reforms currently being implemented in Victoria.

The new structure, announced on Friday, is in accordance with a determination by the Essential Services Commission following a review.

Melbourne passengers will face a new pricing structure with differing tariffs depending on the day and time of the fare. Bendigo's pricing structure will remain the same, only dearer.

Taxi Services Commission chairman Graeme Samuel said the change in fares was about balancing the interests of the industry, drivers and passengers.

The new taxi fares take effect from May 19, 2014. 

Bendigo Taxis management was unavailable for comment over the weekend.

More information can be found at www.taxi.vic.gov.au

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