NATION

Taxi Issues In Limbo As Drivers Wait For Answers

'I know they are business people and are out there to make a living. I respect that and respect the position the taxi community plays in Fiji's transport life' - Simpson
23 Jan 2020 09:18
Taxi Issues In Limbo As Drivers Wait For Answers
Land Transport Authority chief executive officer Samuel Simpson during the meeting between the Fiji Taxi Association and Land Transport Authority yesterday. Others invited did not turn up. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

A meeting between the Fiji Taxi Association, Land Transport Authority and other stakeholders yesterday started and ended without any sign of a compromise in sight.

Not all questions that the taxi group and its members had were answered despite the presence of LTA’s chief executive officer,

Samuel Simpson, at the Nausori Club. He was the only one who attended the meeting as other invited stakeholders like the Ministry of Transport, Director Traffic and senior municipal town council representatives did not turn up.

Fiji Taxi Association general secretary Ashwin Lal said: “The reason for the meeting was to share our grievances and issues regarding the taxi base in Nausori to the relevant authorities like the Minister for Transport, LTA, Director Traffic and senior municipal town council representatives.

“But they are not here except for the LTA CEO and that encounter with him was disappointing because he was not able to answer our questions to certain matters that our taxi drivers are facing even before the  meeting was finished.”

 

One of the issues raised by the taxi operators concerned the plans of the compulsorily inclusion of fire extinguishers.

The drivers fear this item can be used as a weapon by suspects who intend to rob them. Another concern points to the number of permits that one taxi operator had to their name.

Upon showing Mr Simpson a copy of a particular driver’s application approved by the LTA, Mr Simpson requested factual evidence to be provided, which caused much disapproval and disagreement among the members.

Mr Simpson, who had to leave the meeting prematurely, said: “I know they are business people and are out there to make a living. I respect that and respect the position the taxi community plays in Fiji’s transport life.

“I have no acts against the taxi association at all, but we have consulted them all along.”

The authority will also compel taxi operators this year to fit a new rooftop sign that will signify clearly to customers if a taxi is available or not.

Members of FTA are also calling out to taxi operators and the association to work together and set in place a system that will tackle the number of cheating drivers who fail to provide honest information to their employers.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj



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