The Victorian taxi industry plays a vital role in providing an important transport service for passengers at Melbourne Airport.
On an average day, around 6,000 taxis pick-up Melbourne Airport passengers eager to get home or start their holiday or business dealings.
Around Christmas, Easter, public holidays, major events and other peak days, this number increases to more than 9,000 taxi pick-ups. On 30 October 2015, the start of last year’s Melbourne Cup long weekend, taxis picked-up a record 9,043 passengers from Melbourne Airport.
At Australia’s second busiest passenger airport, taxi growth increased last year by 5.1 per cent. This was slightly higher than the 4.5 per cent passenger growth, and significantly higher than total vehicle growth which was 1.2 per cent for the same period.
Recently, an additional taxi rank opened in Melbourne Airport’s new transport hub to service Terminal 4 passengers, bringing the total number of taxi bays to 45.
Jetstar, Virgin Australia and Rex passengers simply walk out of their new Terminal 4 across a pedestrian-only forecourt and into the ground level of the new transport hub where 10 taxi bays have been provided.
As part of the new transport hub and Terminal 4, a new secondary holding area was built to replace the ‘Snakepit’. Both this holding area and the main holding area located on Airport Drive (formerly known as Melrose Drive) hold 800 taxis. Filling up fast leading into the busy periods, the holding areas efficiently clear out around 45-minutes into the peak time.
New rest rooms were built in the secondary taxi holding area this year. This follows recent upgrades to the rest rooms and an extension to the non denominational prayer room at the main taxi holding area.
Access to and around Melbourne Airport continues to improve. The airport has completed some major road projects in recent times to help reduce traffic congestion. Among these is the duplication of Melrose Drive (now called Airport Drive from Sharps Road to Centre Road), which was completed as part of the transport hub/new Terminal 4 development in late 2015.
The Airport Drive extension opened almost 12 months ago, providing an easy and direct route to the main holding area for taxis travelling from the west, and is assisting in the effort to reduce congestion on the Tullamarine Freeway. Terminal Drive was expanded in 2014 to ease congestion for vehicles coming into the airport and Melbourne Airport is supporting the widening of the Tullamarine Freeway, led by Vic Roads and Transurban, which is expected to be completed in 2017.
Along with new developments, road projects and facilities for taxis, Melbourne Airport has undergone some significant internal changes.
Following the appointment of new Chief Executive Officer Lyell Strambi in September 2015, the operations side of the business has been restructured to place further importance on ground transport.
Former Executive of Operations, Lorie Argus, has been appointed Chief of Parking and Ground Transport.
Ms Argus joined Melbourne Airport in April 2015 with significant airport operations experience gained in Brisbane and Sydney under her belt.
Ms Argus’ team will continue to work closely with the Victorian Taxi industry to deliver a superior service for Melbourne Airport passengers.
“Melbourne Airport has been in a state of intense construction activity over the past few years,” Ms Argus said.
“Construction of the new domestic terminal and seven-storey transport hub that includes a bus interchange, taxi rank, pick-up and drop-off zones and 2,800 car parking bays, presented some challenges for our 24/7 operation.
“Among the challenges were changes in traffic routes and conditions to keep up with the construction program, which impacted taxis.
“We would like to thank taxis for working with us to deliver these important infrastructure projects, and for their patience during construction.
“Our newly structured team ensures even greater importance is placed on ground transport at Melbourne Airport, and we look forward to working with you as both of our businesses continue to grow.”
Information about major activity that may affect taxis at Melbourne Airport can be found on the screens at the main taxi holding area.
Chief of Parking & Ground Transport