The restrictions imposed on us all as a result of this pandemic have reduced rank and hail to being almost non-existant while bookings coming through the networks are few and far between. Many are experiencing a drop in earnings in excess of 70% yet the discounts being offered by the major networks on their monthly fees in response to the pandemic are far from comparable.

In a cost cutting measure, drivers are turning away from Booking Service Providers in their droves handing in their terminals and calling it a day.  Many of them, however, want to carry on supporting their families, servicing the public and being of some use but only wish to do so as an independent operator. In line with regulatory requirements this necessitates that they carry payment terminals in their taxis able to process MPTP transactions.

Independent operators submitting applications to cabcharge for payment terminals are being told the process is currently taking 10 weeks. Far too long for many to remain idle or viable.

Representatives of TAA raised this with the regulator at a meeting held yesterday. The CPVV urged drivers experiencing delays of this nature to contact them by email on safety@cpvv.vic.gov.au

Alternatively, there are other networks such as Crown and Slyyk who are providing payment terminals to independent operators more speedily. The terminals process cashless transactions and MPTP cards but fall short on processing cabcharge - a taxi cab charge card used primarily by corporate clients.

The ability to process cabcharge payments is something drivers will need to weigh up against whether a 10 week wait is worth it.