No bus-taxi turf dispute resolution

Andrew Rutherford
Andrew Rutherford
The man operating the Dunedin night bus service says he has bookings for this weekend, and will be back doing what he points out it has been his legal right since July last year.

Dunedin civic and government organisations involved say they won't be taking any action on the issue, but one recent taxi industry member says with an All Blacks test in the city, the tension might ramp up.

The Otago Daily Times reported yesterday that a rock was thrown through the window of Dunedin operator Andrew Rutherford's Night Bus last Sunday.

That followed tension between Mr Rutherford and some taxi drivers, angry he was parking near, and sometimes on, taxi stands.

Retired driver Rob Donaldson, who picks his taxi-driving daughter up after her shift and has seen the problem, said the bus should not park less than 20m from a taxi stand.

Mr Rutherford was loading passengers on the taxi stand, and ''shouldn't be there at all''.

''It's going to cause havoc tomorrow [Saturday] night,'' Mr Donaldson said.

''You just don't go on to a taxi rank.

''He should be on a bus stop.''

Dunedin City Council senior traffic engineer Ron Minnema said the issue was parking related, but what operators did on those parks was a New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) issue.

The NZTA yesterday said it would ''monitor'' the situation, but was not planning action.

Council parking services team leader Daphne Griffen, asked if her department was planning any action, said: ''No''.

Mr Rutherford said taxis dropped fares off at bus stops and taxi drivers had not got used to the Land Transport Management Amendment Act, that had made his operation legal.

Mr Rutherford said the transport industry was more inclined to illegal behaviour, because it was more territorial.

- david.loughrey@odt.co.nz

My support and the support of others

This is the sort of innovation we want to see in Dunedin. Many cities like Dunedin around the world are in the year 2014, while old Dunedin is still in the 80s, thinking the future is the 90s! Mr Rutherford, we are with you, we will support you, and hope many others come after you. Well done, we want to see a 21st century Dunedin coming up! Taxis will have to innovate if they want to catch up. The rest of the world has already moved on, Dunedin needs to catch up!

Where's the attraction?

In the orginal article, it said the bus is $3 a kilometre. Where's the attraction over a taxi?

Good on Mr Rutherford

Having spent many hours on some fairly horrendous evenings waiting for a taxi to appear I applaud Mr Rutherford for getting his business underway.  Tonight Dunedin will face the embarassment of not enough taxis willing to work. Visitors impressions will be tainted by long queues and some bad behavior because of long, long waiting times. Good on Mr Rutherford for setting up a competitive enterprise to improve users' experience. 

Stick to your guns

You are dead right Andrew. Taxi drivers think they have this entitlement to all and sundry. As you have quite properly pointed out they can park on P5 for as long as they like, they have no jurisdiction to cone off public areas without a permit and do use bus stops to pick up/drop off passengers. If the council parking enforcement agency has the discretion to not ticket this mob for these breaches what justification do they have for ticketing others.

Good luck on your venture.

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