New maxi taxi to relieve city congestion problems

By SAM BENGERsamb@gladstoneobserver.com.au

A NEW maxi taxi in Gladstone will reduce the risk of violence in the Central Business District, according to police and taxi drivers.

Gladstone Police Senior Sergeant Leigh Burt said the police service was undertaking a study into the prob- lems faced in the CBD at night, and the addition of a new taxi would help address these issues.

'We've identified problems when people are trying to get back to their homes after a night in town ? crowds gather, people start to niggle each oth- er and fights start,' he said.

Snr Sgt Burt said as taxi companies had limited resources, all it took was for one taxi to have to take a passen- ger to Tannum Sands or Boyne Island and the resources of the fleet were de- pleted.

'Having a maxi taxi means they'll be used for multi-hires which means people won't get cranky waiting for cabs and not as many fights will start,' he said.

Gladstone Blue and White Taxis chairman Allan Rowe said from mid- night onwards taxi drivers were "flat out'' and were forced to cover a large area. 'Our service area includes Calli- ope, Tannum Sands and Gladstone ? over 40,000 people ? but often we're overlooked when it comes to provid- ing extra services so this new licence will be a very welcome addition to the fleet,' he said.

Mr Rowe said as Easter ap- proached, the extra maxi taxi would add to the now 23-strong fleet and on Easter Saturday services would be backed up by two 25-seater buses.



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