NEWS

Tempers Flare At Taxi Operators Meeting

Fiji Taxi Union president Raben Bhan Singh, who also faced the brunt of their anger, said, “Police called off the meeting because of the situation”.
22 Mar 2019 09:59
Tempers Flare At Taxi Operators Meeting
Photo: Fiji Live

Tempers flared at a meeting of taxi operators in Lautoka yesterday.

Police officers present at the meeting to answer to the operators queries had to abruptly end the meeting.

Some taxi operators vented out their frustration at the meeting held at Lautoka Club.

Fiji Taxi Union president Raben Bhan Singh, who also faced the brunt of their anger, said, “Police called off the meeting because of the situation”.

Mr Singh said the meeting was summoned regarding the base and zone taxi issue.

“Base taxis don’t want zone taxis to park at their base. That’s why we called Police, Land Transport Authority and Lautoka City Council officers to answer queries,” he said.

Lalit Kumar, who has been in the taxi business from 1977, has his base on Naviti Street told Fiji Sun that out-of-base or zone taxis always parked at his base.

“When I come back after a job, I can’t park at my base because it’s taken up by the zone taxi and the young drivers swear and do different gestures when I tell them to move,” he said.

“I know everyone is struggling, so if the base is empty then you operate from there but if base owners want to park, then at least you move your taxi away.

“Some of them don’t dress up properly like a taxi driver.

If I do something to them when they utter bad swears, then I’ll be in trouble with Police. They should show some respect.”

Mr Kumar said his business had been affected badly because of the zone taxis using his taxi base in Lautoka City.

“This is what I told the meeting. It’s frustrating and you must have seen how angry taxi operators are because of this,” he said.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Singh said according to Police and LCC officers at the meeting, zone taxis could park anywhere in the city.

“The base fees are paid by the base taxi holders but the zone taxis park in their base and operate,” Mr Singh said.

“The zone taxis don’t pay any base fees which is $30 a month. The union had a meeting with the Transport Minister on February 18 and he told us that he will get back to us within two months.”

After the meeting, the taxi operators gathered in groups inside and outside Lautoka Club to tell each other the problems they face with zone taxis.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback: avinesh.gopal@fijisun.com.fj

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