Saturday, January 13, 2007

New Years Eve Melbourne

For the last 8 years or so I and several other Harley Riders have spent our time working on New Years Eve.

It all started back in 1998 when it was discovered that there were never enough taxis in Melbourne to service the enormous demand created by having 1/2 a million people descend on the Melbourne CBD for the night. Our solution? Supplement the taxi shortage with Harleys fitted with sidecars.

This year saw us back in the city again. However, this year we decided to do a "distinctive uniform" - so that people would be able to recognize us as legitimate transport. Before midnight we spent our time doing short joy rides from the Docklands precinct. After midnight, we got down the serious business of getting people home.

This photo was taken at the 2006 Albert Park F1 GP, which was where we first tested the new uniforms.

The uniform is not used all the time - only when we are working "off the street" where the public can come up to us and hail us like a taxi. I wore my uniform on Oaks Day at the Melboune Cup in November 2006, and from 4pm to 8pm worked "flat out" servicing the demand at the taxi queue at the end of the day. The window opens at 4pm as the supply of taxis is quickly drained and then slams shut at 8pm as the number of people wanting taxis subsides, and its over for another year....

How many people have we serviced this way over the last 10 years? Answer - tens of thousands.

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