Flashback Friday: Taxi rank security

As of 1 January 2018, the management of the City Centre Marketing and Improvements Levy transferred from In The City Canberra to the City Renewal Authority. Views expressed in these articles may not reflect the views of the Authority.

Since 2010, In The City Canberra (ITCC) have matched the Government’s investment of $50,000 per year to keep Canberra’s Alinga Street taxi rank safe. Thanks to the joint contribution, party-goers on a Friday and Saturday night can rest easy knowing their ride home from the popular taxi rank will be subject to supervision, between the hours of midnight and 6am the following morning.

According to Access Canberra statistics, the initiative has proved a hit with locals and visitors lapping up the extra security, encouraging 28% more (22,000) party-goers to taxi home than in 2015-16 than in previous years; and it would seem when it comes to the community’s preference, the numbers don’t lie, with the ACT Alinga Street Taxi Report 2016-17 estimating a whopping 223,277 passengers have stepped, fallen or slid their way into a taxi in 2016/17. Figures similarly indicate a significant decrease in antisocial behaviours and incidents in the city than in previous years.

As Canberra’s major hospitality and entertainment hub, the venues, streets and public places of Canberra’s CBD needs to be safe. Taxi drivers, providing their services to the public, similarly need to be kept safe from intoxicated or potentially aggressive passengers during peak party-periods.

Commenting on the initiative, ITCC CEO Jane Easthope said “ITCC exists to develop and implement strategies and/or activities that enhance the cleaning, safety and maintenance services already provided by the Territory in the City Centre. This initiative is at the heart of what we do.”

In recent years, safety around taxi ranks has become an international concern for rural and urban areas, with most major cities requiring some sort of strategy to protect taxi drivers and public safety. Canberra is no different on this issue, which is why ITCC and the ACT Government have maintained this partnership and commitment towards ensuring the safety and security of locals and visitors is maintained.