NATION

Drivers Start Blame Game

The Fiji Van and Carrier Operators Association (FVCOA) is blaming Fiji Taxi Association (FTA) for the existence of illegal operators, especially in the Western Division. The association, during their annual
20 Apr 2015 12:01
Drivers Start Blame Game

The Fiji Van and Carrier Operators Association (FVCOA) is blaming Fiji Taxi Association (FTA) for the existence of illegal operators, especially in the Western Division.

The association, during their annual general meeting last Saturday in Lautoka, said illegal taxis, vans and carriers operate because of public demand.

“The general public is opting for illegal transportation services because of inefficient taxi services, particularly at night,” FVCOA general secretary Mohammed Jibarel Khan said. “They (FTA) need to ask themselves why the demand for illegal transportation is high, particularly in the Western Division. People working late just want to get home, but taxis are nowhere to be found. That’s where illegal transport services come in,” he said.

Mr Khan said illegal operators were hopeful that the freeze on illegal vehicles in 2011 would be lifted soon.

“LTA regional manager West did a survey and it was discovered in the Public Service Vehicle (PSV) Report that there was a great demand for taxis to operate at night. There have not been complaints about carrier and van operations, but only for the seven-seater vehicles. We are trying our best to legalise our services, especially those who depend on it as their source of income,” he said.

Fiji Taxi Association general secretary Rishi Ram said fingerpointing was not good.

“Taxi drivers operate on a contract basis and it is totally wrong to say that they are not operating at night. There have not been any complaints from the public, so they (FCVOA) should not pinpoint,” Mr Ram said.

“The taxi operators work extra weekends because it is a 24-hour service and they operate at peak hours,” he said.

Meanwhile, LTA chief executive Naisa Tuinaceva – during the recent Fiji Taxi Association annual meeting – urged taxi operators were urged to be consistent with services.

“We need to eradicate all illegal operations and taxi drivers need to be consistent to close any gaps that allow illegal operations. We will step up monitoring of illegal operations and illegal taxi bases,” he said.

A total of six vehicles were deregistered in January of this year and another 11 driver licenses were suspended in March.

Feedback: saloteq@fijisun.com.fj

 



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