# PROBLEMS OF THE HAULIER AND CARRIER.

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The First of a New Series of Contributions, Dealing, in This Instance, With a Peculiar Case of Dockside Passenger Transport.

A N inquiry of unusual interest has been sent to _tl.me with regard to a tender, the nature of the work being somewhat out of the ordinary, but, nevertheless, many of the points involved will prove of value to passenger carriers in general. It may be said quite reasonably, that this is a glaring example of how a carrier may be trapped into serious loss unless great car in the compilation of figures is taken.

Briefly, the nature of the work for which tenders are asked is on the following lines, the figure required being for a yearly contract at so much per head. The majority of the passengers are emigrants (passing through the country), arriving at the docks requiring to be picked up at one of three points, and carried to the station. There will be, 11 gather, • a smaller number of passengers from the station to one of the three docks, but no figures are given to ipdicate the relative proportions of travellers in the two different directions. Children have to he taken at half-price, and passengers' luggage free.

Before proceeding to a detailed consideration of the case, I will give some further data supplied by the reader, also a few suppositions which I have had to make in the absence of the necessary information. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays are stated to be the usual days of arrival.. Half the total number of persons will require transportation between 5.30 p.m. and 8 a.m., and as many as 200 passengers at a time may have to be provided for. The proportion of children at half rates and the respective number of persons from the docks to the station, or vice versa, are not given. In the absence of definite data on this point, I am taking the basis of three-quarters of the total number travelling from the docks to the station and a quarter nicking the reverse journey, but the only ground for these assumptions is the 'general inference derived from the letter. Working upon various official statistics, I am assuming the number of children—i.e., persons of school age and under— to be 20 per cent. of the total. The distances from the three docks to the station are 3 miles, 21, miles and mile respectively ; from the garage to the three docks appears to be 7 miles, 61 miles and 4i miles ixspectively.

A few more figures are now necessary to obtain a basis for costs :—Numher of adults to be carried at full fare, 11,200. Number of children to be carried at half-price, 2,800. Mileaga of trip : Garage to docks and station and back to garage, 14 miles or 13 miles cr 9i miles. Mileage of trip : Garage, docks, station, docks, garage, 20 miles or 18 miles or 11 miles, according to route. Mileage of trip : Garage, station, docks, station, garage, 14 mites or 13 miles or 9 miles. No guarantee is given as to the proportion, of emigrants arriving at each dock, and I propose to work as though each landing-place received an equal number.

Working on the previously quoted figures, an average mileage per trip will be for a circular runi.e., garage to pick-up point, transport and loading, setting down and returning to garage—says, 13 miles. In these circumstances, a load of passengers in both directions, without returning to the garage, appears rather an unlikely event. If a vehicle goes from the garage to the station, • does a double load and returns from the station to the garage, the average trip will be about 12 miles, whereas, going via the docks to do a double load. the average trip distance will be about 17 miles. I think it is fair to set off the possibility of a double paying load at one trip against the occasions when the vehicles will be carrying only a partial load. For all practical purposes, therefore, an average trip of 13 miles is taken.

The vehicles it is proposed to employ are two four-seater taxicabs for loads of one to eight persons, and two 28-seater chars-à-bancs for large numbers. One of the reasons for the use of the large vehicles is that it is desirable to keep chars--banes specially for the work' also, large numbers of passengers may have to be catered for at one time. In addition to this, the inquirer does not consider it wise to keep a medium-size vehicle in addition. The next figure to be arrived at, in view of the types of vehicle, is an approximate number of trips required per vehicle per annum to carry out the work. For seating purposes I am reckoning on all persons as being adults. The annual average number of passengers is 14,000. The chars-à-banes are taken as carrying 13,000 of them in 233 trips each. Assuming that the taxis carried 1,000 persons in the year, each cab does 125 trips per annum. • The annual mileage of each char-&-bancs is, therefore, 3,029 miles, whilst the cabs each cover 1,625 miles.

Turning now to the work and maintenance costs for the two chars-it-banes and the two taxis, we can get down to rock-bottom figures for preparing the tender. With regard to the personnel, our inquirer proposes to employ one man permanently for the four vehicles, others being loaned from the garage department to meet requirements. For the 28seater vehicles the running and standing charges will be approximately 2437 10s. each for the year. The prospective hirers do not restrict the owners to using the vehicles for this job alone, but in view of the circumstances there appears to be little opportunity of the chars-h-bancs being able to be sent far away from the garage, as one of the conditions is that they must be available at short notice. The costs for the taxis are estimated at 248 (running costs), plus a quarter of the standing charges, £21 5s., making a total. of 269 18s. 2d. per cab, or, say, £70. The quarter of the standing charge is taken in view of the fact that the mileage is low, and it appears that a considerable amount of time is available for the cabs to do other work. They, of course, are not to be reserved solely for this job, whereas the chars-it-hancs will practically be so.

The cost for transportation of each of the 13,000 passengers carried by the ehars-à-bancs is 16.1d. The• taxicabs deal with 1,000 persons at a cost of 33.6d. per head. Adding an item of 26 10s. 'per week per char-à-bancs for establishment expenses and profit, we get an extra amount of 12.5d. per passenger, making a grand total of 28.6d. per head. The amount in respect of the two taxis, on the score of overhead costs and profit, is taken as a quarter of the annual profit expected from the cabs, approximately 232 10s. This for 1,000 passengers gives 7.8d. per head, making a figure of 41.4d. per passenger. Adding an approximation to compensate for the children at half-price, I think 2s. 6d. per char-&-bancs passenger, or 3s. 8d. per taxi passenger, would not be too high for the work in question.

As the prospective hirers offer 7d. per head, or 2s. 6d. as a minimum, for the taxis, it appears that anyone taking on the job at these figures would be very badly placed indeed. This case is undoubtedly a very involved one in that the mileage is uncertain, the loads very variable, and the time available for other work by the vehicles concerned almost negli gible. SCRUTATOB.