NEWS

Consumer Council of Fiji: Taxi Drivers Cannot Refuse Short Runs

“The council received numerous complaints from consumers who were denied services by drivers and made excuses to avoid taking short runs,”
14 Feb 2019 09:50
Consumer Council of Fiji: Taxi Drivers Cannot Refuse Short Runs
Seema Shandil Chief Executive Officer for Consumer Council of Fiji.

Taxi drivers cannot be selec­tive and are not allowed to refuse passengers who want to go on short runs, says Seema Shandil Chief Executive Officer for Consumer Council of Fiji.

“The council received numerous complaints from consumers who were denied services by drivers and made excuses to avoid taking short runs,” she said.

“The nature of complaints includ­ed taxi drivers who denied 20 per cent discount on fare for elderly citi­zens and charged the normal fare, also that most taxis in Savusavu do not use taxi meters and queries on whether the driver and taxi owner will be charged if they refuse to do short runs.

She said that the council advised taxi operators that the Government had a deed agreement signed be­tween with the Fiji Taxi Association of November 7, 2011, which clearly states that:

“The Association together with all its members jointly and severally, hereby that with effect of the date of commencement of this agreement, all taxi operators will provide taxi service, at a discount rate of 20 per cent of the actual fares, to disabled persons, senior citizens and those persons receiving food or family assistance from Ministry of Social Welfare, provided that these per­sons are certified and issued with relevant identifications card by the relevant agency. The discount rate shall only be valid for journey up to 20 kilometres.”

Mrs Shandil said the council is well aware of previous cases where consumers were denied services by drivers when they showed the con­cession card.

“Taxi drivers tend to come up with excuses such as having other runs in order to avoid passengers who carry concession cards,” she said.

“The taxi drivers should not de­mand consumers to inform them be­forehand on whether they are con­cession card holders because they are to provide service to all consum­ers equally and not be selective on the basis of losing out on a few dol­lars to the concession card holders.

“We have to come strong on this. There are victims but they do not come and complain. So we urge all who are affected to come and lodge your complain so we can take ac­tions with the help of LTA.”

President of Fiji Taxi Association, Rabhen Bhan Singh said taxi driv­ers not taking short runs should be penalised.

“Taxi drivers are not supposed to deny passengers on short or long runs,” he said.

“We hope the Consumer Council provides details of the taxi drivers denying passengers this service.”

Edited by Susana Tuilau

Feedback: swashna.chand@fijisun.com.fj

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