There are two very common first impressions of Canberra often shared on social media – the weather and waiting at the airport’s taxi rank.
Particularly on the wintry sitting weeks, Canberra’s fly-in, fly-out population of politicians and staffers share with the world how cold it is to stand in the long queue for a cab.
But the opening of an undercover taxi rank on Monday will hopefully go at least a small way to changing that.
Travellers are now able to line-up protected from the elements in an enclosed, undercover waiting area before being ushered out as taxis arrive to whisk them away.
Institute of Public Administration Australia chief executive Geraldine Kennett flew in from Melbourne for a conference, and quite enjoyed the view from the new waiting area, as well as the promise of comfort should one of her many Canberra visits come during times of extreme heat or cold.
“You get off out of a beautiful warm or air conditioned airport and often you don’t have your coats and everything handy, so you spend your first few moments shivering,” she said.
“If the taxis are lined up here undercover, you’re in, you’re away, and you’re doing business in Canberra.”
First cab off the rank, literally, was caught by public servant Benjamin Finn, who was returning home to Belconnen after a hiking trip in Victoria. He said the new rank was well-placed, but he didn’t expect to use it often.
A spokeswoman for Canberra Airport said the upgrade was part of a focus on “passenger experience” as work continued on expanding and upgrading the entire airport.
“It’s all about the journey, from the time they leave home to the time they get to where they’re going, whether that’s for business or leisure purposes,” she said.
“Their first impression of a city ought not to be standing out in the bitter cold in the middle of a Canberra winter waiting for a taxi. That can have a very negative effect on people.”
While the indoor rank went some way to solving the issue of an uncomfortable wait for transport, the spokeswoman said the airport would still like to see more taxis made available to eliminate delays during peak periods.