THE CAB SYSTEM OF SYDNEY.
VIEWS OF THE CABDRIVERS.
THE TRANSIT OFFICERS CONDEMNED.
The article dealing with the cab svstem of Sydney which appeared in the " Herald " the other day, and which, besides dealing with the revised methods of charges recently introduced, gave voice to the views of tho Iransit Commissioners, hn» aroused no little interest in the minds of tho tv, o classes puuiuuly uitcicstcd-tho tiavelling public an(l tho cabmen 1 lie views of the Iransit Ofllcors v. Ho might bo expected to occupy the position of arbitrators bettv cn the l\v o opnosiug sections may bellest desenbed by au extinct from oin article - "Thero is a concensus of opinion," rcmaiked orflf"-of the leaning iransit oflicois, "amongst those dealing with cabdnvcrs t ti if they could be niauci d all lound to a-»k for nothing more than their legal faro thev would lind then busincs greatly improved because tnanv, pooplo who »ill not employ cabs now, owing to the ex- tortionate charges made would bo oul> tie wil'ing to avail themselves of Buch n quick mtniis of transit if they huew thoy v, ould not bo asked to pay mora thin tho reasouable legal fare Cabdnvers wculd bo astonished at the gicat íncrenso lrfpatronngo that would follow tho creation in the minds of the public of tho conviction that people Wore being fairly tie ited "
Trom a representativo cabman we have gained a candid expression of tho mows hell bv, mem- bers of the trade 'It is quito hue," said our informant, " that theie are abuses in the system, and that wé cabmen got i bad name And whose mult lsll-^'tf you havo nu organised system and nn ex pensive ¿tait of ofliccrs to work it and the svstera proves'a failuro, don't you thiuk tho olliccrs ought In lie blamed ? Ask any Icgitunato cabman nr bydnc), and he'll toll \ou tho rame thing Ifwe'luda jrropcr svstem of street coutiol thero WÖiild be nono of this public outcry And, mind you, novTtódplo nro inoie icndv to admit thst tho whole thing is bad Ciom beginning to end than the cabmen themselves, but they do think it hard that they should hive to beal the w holo blame for vv hat, after all, is more their misfoituno than their fault "
' The Transit oflicars tall* about evcessivo charges Well they aromado but hero is tho vv holo secret not bv tho legitimate cabmen Hie genei al public suppose that every licensed driver is on tho same footlug Theoretically ho is but really ho isn't
1 o begin with, cabmen ate divided into two great classes-those who own their cabs aud far lu tho niajontv, and tho other class of " tenters " who hire their cabs out from ouo or other of tho big yards at the general rata of 4s per day It is tho latter winch ia rospousiblo for tho public outcry about excessive fares, &c And beyond that again the Transit officers arc to blame, aud I'll show vou vhv
Eveij licensed cubinan »lion not engaged u suy pis"d to stand upon some authorised rank The respectable ela«s carry out the law f ho more un- scrupulous simjily drivo nt a foot p ice up and down the stieets stopping vv honov er tho> get a elm ace, mid plying for biro just the saiuo as the 'buses They do this every day ni the principal thoroughfares, and iii the full vic v of transit officers These mon are known u the business as " gaggers " At tile steamboat wharfs tho thing is oven worse. Instead of falling into their piece on the lank, the} crowd on to the wharfs, touting f hire, and almost forcing passengers into their ca1 , ^o
transit ofliccrs seo all this
Any respectable cabman w ill be satisfied wit'i s legal fare, and vv ill do his best tor his own s lie fi keep his horse fit and his cab clean, and to bo j ride to his passenger Such a man owns the cab and the horse, and naturally ho looks at ter Ins stock , but With the " renter " tho case is different
Of course some people will say that the cabmen's shelter system ought to be extended I think every respectable driver will agree that the cabmen's shel- ters are simply a curse. They have their horses to look after, and when it's too cold for the horse it's quite cold enough for tho driver to go home and to bed instead of sitting up all night in the shelter, With his horse shivering outside. And what are some of these cabmen's shelters ? Simply gambling dens, where you'll see men playing nap and poker hour after hour
Then there's yet another class-there are the " gaggers " by day and the " bludgers " by night The " bludgers " are the worst type of the lot They pick up the drunks, they are out all night, and
ready for anything.
Well, briefly, what we contend is this. We say the present system of control is bad. Why should we pay 37s 6d per year licensing fee, and yet have no voice when it is wasted in building cabmen's shelters that are not wanted, and publishing books of fares that mean nothing when the passenger has to deal with a dishonest driver ? We want the same system at Redfern and the wharfs that prevails at Government House and the theatres, where a cab- man is only allowed to draw up an hour before the thing ends, instead of waiting all the night as they do in Devonshire-street from midnight till the first train starts. Above all, we want the traffic to be con trolled by the police, as it is in other cities, and not by the transit officers. Till that comes about the traffic control of Sydney will continue to be what it has been for years-a nuisance to every resident, and a laughing stock to every visitor.