Quality plan for taxi services

A quality plan for taxi services is a procedural agreement between the taxi providers and the interchange manager. Its main objective is the optimum provision of taxi services in or around the interchange. The plan includes a number of issues, ranging from the technical design specification of the curbsides that can smoothly take users to/from the taxi, to regulation issues about the services provided. The landowner evaluates the provision of taxi-stands for the contractual agreement with taxi companies serving the interchange.

A quality plan for taxi services is essential since the taxi is a transport mode usually not taken into consideration very seriously in the planning process. The plan describes in detail the procedures for the smooth operation and provision of the services at the interchange, from the placement of the taxi-stands to the number of taxis usually allowed to wait for passengers.

The design of taxi-stands should better encompass user needs and fit in with appropriate locations. This may then lead to reducing park & ride spaces in order to further increase taxi spaces. On this last note, several questions were raised regarding the location of these park & ride facilities, often built by private companies in the outer zones rather than in the centre. All in all, this really depends on the geographical scope within which the interchange is located, as well as the priority given to different modes.

 

 


NODES strategic objectiveContribution
Enhance accessibility and integration +
Enhance intermodality ++
Enhance liveability 0
Increase safety and security conditions +
Increase economic viability and costs efficiency 0
Stimulate local economy 0
Increase environmental efficiency 0
Increase energy efficiency 0

Good practice

Transport for London, UK, has produced a set of best practice guidelines for the design and operation of taxi ranks at major interchanges. This document addresses all issues related to the layout and the necessary facilities of taxi ranks within interchanges. It also outlines the management strategy to be followed and the role of the “Strategic taxi rank Committee” which has taken on the task of ensuring that the guidelines are followed and to oversee any infrastructure changes required to improve operation and ensure that any changes be coordinated with other public transport changes affecting the interchange.

 Application in NODES sites – IKEA interchange, Thessaloniki

The tool was tested at the IKEA interchange in Thessaloniki, which commenced operation in 2003 to transfer the result to the reference site of Mikra Interchange, which is currently under development.

The initial designs of the IKEA interchange did not include a taxi rank and did not cater for taxi services within the interchange. The need for the interchange to be served by taxis was highlighted by the Taxi Association from the start. However it was only in 2006 that it was officially decided to grant part of the premises for the construction of a taxi-stand. The taxi rank would be able to accommodate 20 waiting taxis. The construction works were assigned to a contractor and ThePTA (as the representative of the Ministry of Transport) bore the financial cost.

Two separate documents were examined for testing the tool:

  • The written agreement between ThePTA and the contractor: the document clearly outlined the necessary dismantling work, the earthworks and the infrastructure work that had to be carried out. It also explicitly referred to the landscaping and lighting of the area. According to this document, the taxi-stand features 20 taxi slots, a ramp for people with disabilities, non-slip paving, special installations for drainage and electricity, special canopies, and a chemical toilet. Also, special provisions were made for construction of sidewalks around the waiting area to enable passengers to access the taxi-stand safely.
  • The written agreement between the Taxi Association of Thessaloniki, ERMIS, and IKEA: The written agreement was signed between the Taxi Association of Thessaloniki and IKEA, which is not the interchange manager, but is the landowner; hence the Taxi Association contacted them to request a space allocation for construction of the taxi-stand. The document is very brief, 2 pages. It does not contain any details regarding the facilities of the taxi-stand and its accessibility, and it does not include any regulation issues about the services provided. It simply outlines the fact that IKEA grants an area of approximately one acre, free of charge for 15 years, for the installation of a taxi-stand in exchange for taxis serving the IKEA premises and bringing customers to the retailer’s doorstep. The taxi-stand is adjacent to the bus interchange, as shown on the map.
  • Despite the fact that the service obligations for the taxi-stand are not included in the quality plan (the written agreement) the taxi-stand was constructed and operates according to high standards.

Potential interchange performance improvement

A quality plan for taxi services is essential since taxi is a transport mode usually not taken into consideration so seriously in the planning process. The plan describes in detail the procedures for a smooth operation and provision of the services at the interchange, from the placement of the taxi-stands till the number of taxis usually should be allowed to wait for passengers.  This shall improve coordination with the other transport modes available at the interchange and therefore enhance intermodality and ease of transfer for users.


Resources

–          Cost indication for use of tool: Low.

–          Other resources needed for use of the tool: No

–          Distribution of costs between stakeholders: Usually the metropolitan authority or the manager of the interchange

References

GMPTE (2010) A Better Transport Interchange for Altrincham. Public Consultation. http://www.tfgm.com/Corporate/Documents/Consultation/10-0309_Altrincham_Int_Cons.pdf

Transport for London (2013) Taxi ranks at major interchanges. Best practice guidelines.  https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/policy/streetscape-guidance/supporting_documents/Taxi%20ranks%20at%20major%20interchanges.pdf

Victoria Departmenf of Transport, Australia (2008) Public Transport Guidelines for Land Use and Development. http://www.dtpli.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/220291/PTGuidelinesLandUseDevelopment.pdf