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Monitored taxi ranks at risk of closure: Taxi Council

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The SA Taxi Council has warned funding cuts to its managed taxi rank program will place the public’s safety at considerable risk unless replacement funding for the program is secured urgently.

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The Taxi Council said funding for the program provided by Adelaide Airport’s Taxi Industry Fund started to phase out yesterday, with funding from that source expected to end entirely in six months.

The program, which has operated since 2002, will still receive part funding from the State Government.

Managed Taxi Ranks are staffed with a concierge and a security officer most Friday and Saturday nights between 11pm and 4.30am to maximise taxi availability and to ensure the safe loading of passengers.

Ranks are located at the North Terrace entrance to the Adelaide Casino, the south-eastern corner of Morphett and Hindley Streets, Pulteney Street near Rundle Mall, East Terrace, the eastern side of King William Street, outside HQ Nightclub on Hindley Street and Colley Terrace in Glenelg.

The program also extends to Adelaide Oval during the AFL season, cricket and major events, Fringe and WOMADelaide Festivals, Adelaide 500 and the cruise ship season.

The Taxi Council said the airport’s decision to phase out funding would likely mean it would be forced to reduce the number of ranks and locations.

It said an alternative source of funding needed to be secured as a matter of urgency but no alternative arrangements had yet been considered.

The council’s president, Steve Savas, said in a statement that the funding cut was “another blow” for the industry, which he said had passed a “tough run” since the introduction of ride-sharing companies such as Uber in the state.

“If we’re forced to scale back or, worse still, shut down the program it will have serious safety consequences for the public and visitors to the city in terms of the safe dispersal of people from key entertainment precincts,” he said.

“People have come to rely on the security and safety they associate with managed ranks and the public has a right to be concerned about the demise of the program.”

In response to questions from InDaily, an Adelaide Airport spokesperson would only say that the airport would continue to fund and manage the operation of the airport taxi rank including the employment of taxi concierges.

The Taxi Council said it was seeking urgent discussions with Transport Minister Stephan Knoll.

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