Taxi council unaware of Gong Shuttle fare plan

While taxi drivers have complained the Gong Shuttle took away business, the NSW Taxi Council says it did not push the government to introduce fares on the bus. Picture: Andy Zakeli
While taxi drivers have complained the Gong Shuttle took away business, the NSW Taxi Council says it did not push the government to introduce fares on the bus. Picture: Andy Zakeli

The deputy CEO of the NSW Taxi Council has “absolutely” refuted rumours it pushed for fares on the Gong Shuttle.

The council and Illawarra Taxi Network drivers have long been concerned about the free bus, claiming it took away business.

In February last year, former taxi council CEO Roy Wakelin-King said the shuttle’s hours needed to be cut back as it was operating “a bit beyond what the genuine need is”.

Deputy CEO Nick Abrahim said the first he was aware of the government's plans to introduce fares was when he read about it in the Mercury.

He said the council had spoken with the government about transport in the region, pushing to create a “level playing field”.

“Our conversation with government was that you can’t have one rule for one and another rule for others, you need to have a more competitively-neutral approach,” Mr Abrahim said.

“We asked them to remove some inequities in the marketplace, such as CTP [for taxis] and we’re pleased to see some changes on the CTP reforms.”