15 Mar 2016

Auckland Airport taxi changes 'good for everyone'

8:04 pm on 15 March 2016

A change in Auckland Airport's taxi tender will help taxi companies compete with the likes of Uber, a taxi driver says.

Auckland Airport is cracking down on taxi companies charging passengers what it considers too much by opening up its tender process for operators.

Under the new tender, all companies will pay the same weekly rent for rank space and fees for drop-off and pick-up will be capped.

VIP cabs driver Manmohan Singh said lower fares would attract more customers.

"Of course we can't beat Uber but if we are not much different from companies like Uber and we are close it adds convenience."

The changes help level the playing field between different operators and other transport options, he said.

"At the end of the day it will be good for everyone."

It has opened up a tender process under which all taxi companies would pay the same weekly rental for the airport's rank space.

The airport said people would be able to take a taxi from the rank and be confident about the amount they could expect to pay.

Airport general manager Richard Barker told Morning Report there was too much variation in what passengers pay - anything from $55 to $90 for a trip from the airport to the CBD.

He said the focus would now be on giving contracts to companies that offer cheaper fares.

New Zealand Taxi Federation chief executive Roger Heale said the federation agreed with the move.

"The salient point is it levels the playing field for those companies who aren't paying to use the airport, and are basically getting a free lunch.

"I think over time, whether it works as well as the airport wants will become apparent. And the airport obviously has the power to change it if it feels like it is being abused," Mr Heale said.

Taxi drivers at Auckland airport.

Taxi drivers protesting airport fare changes in 2014. Photo: RNZ

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