Changes at Melbourne Airport

Sep 08 2016

Following significant investment in its road network and infrastructure over the past few years, and with plans for further improvements including a new taxi management system, Melbourne Airport has reviewed its access fare and will implement an increase in the coming months.

Last year, Melbourne Airport opened a re-designed secondary taxi holding area, along with a new taxi rank inside the ground transport hub for Terminal 4 passengers.

A second major entrance to the airport was completed when Airport Drive opened last July, making it easier for taxis travelling from the west to transport their passengers to the terminals or access the main taxi holding area on Airport Drive (formerly Melrose Drive).

A number of refurbishment projects have also been completed at the main taxi holding area including a refurbished prayer room and toilet facilities along with re-aligned lanes.

Over the next four years, Melbourne Airport is forecast to invest a further $200 million to further improve landside facilities and infrastructure.

Among these is a new taxi management system, which will replace aging technology.

Chief of Parking and Ground Transport Lorie Argus said the new system will improve the operational efficiency of the transfer of taxis between the primary and secondary holding areas and head of rank. It will also improve the reliability and useability of the airport’s taxi system. “We are currently working through the best solution for a new taxi management system but it will use the most current technology available,” she said.

The project will be underway by October with a launch expected mid next year.

To recover the cost of capital infrastructure investment, Melbourne Airport is required to increase the access fee for ground transport operators, which will be applied to all modes of transport including taxis.

“This also includes any new entrants such as ride share in order to create a level playing field,” Ms Argus said.

“On this point, Uber will also pay to access the airport once legislation is passed.”

In its submission to the Essential Services Commission (ESC) Taxi Fare Review released in June, Melbourne Airport has sought approval for the increased airport access fee to be a pass through cost to the consumer. More information is available at the ESC website: http://www.esc.vic.gov.au/transport/taxis/

Coinciding with passenger growth, which reached a record 34 million passengers between July 2015 and July 2016, Melbourne Airport has also experienced a 5 per cent annual increase in taxi demand.

“This sustained growth in taxi demand has required significant investment from Melbourne Airport to ensure continued service levels for customers,” Ms Argus said.

“As the consumer ultimately benefits most from this investment, we believe the consumer should bear the cost rather than taxi drivers, similar to consumers paying for road tolls.

“However, we must continue to invest in service levels, facilities and infrastructure to ensure Melbourne Airport continues to be Australia’s fastest growing international airport and to support Victoria’s expanding economy.”

The fare increase from $2.70 to $3.58 will become effective from 1 November 2016.

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