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Drivers Optimistic Of A Bright 2022, Generate Lost Revenue

The Labasa Taxi Union is optimistic that the New Year, 2022, will bring a changed and improved economic environment in Vanua Levu and the rest of the country. Union general secretary, Sujit Sharma, said their drivers had faced a revenue decline this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
31 Dec 2021 15:30
Drivers Optimistic Of A Bright 2022, Generate Lost Revenue
Taxi operator, Sachin Lal, is hopeful that 2022 brings a positive turnaround in economic activity for Labasa and their taxi union. Photo: Sampras Anand

The Labasa Taxi Union is optimistic that the New Year, 2022, will bring a changed and improved economic environment in Vanua Levu and the rest of the country.

Union General Secretary, Sujit Sharma, said their drivers had faced a revenue decline this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With COVID-19 case numbers on the rise again in the Northern Division, our drivers will have to pay extra attention to ensure the safety of both their passengers, themselves and their family members,” he said.

 

However, he remains positive that if lockdowns are not imposed and northerners follow the COVID safe protocols wisely, the economic activity could maintain its stability.

“Our income generation was down by the second wave of the pandemic because customers were thinking twice before spending money on hiring a taxi,” Mr Sharma said.

He said other associated costs like fuel price increases, increased maintenance costs and other operational costs has led to taxi operators working on a shoestring budget now.

 

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services , Permanent Secretary, Dr James Fong, clarified that lockdown was not an option, however, changes to social gathering and curfew times are being considered.

Mr Sharma said their drivers had to also compete with the increasing rise of pirate taxis and rental cars operating illegally in the town premises.

He thanked his youth drivers who continued to assist their seniors install and teach them how to use the careFIJI app.

 

“It took a while for our older drivers to understand the COVID safe protocols in place, however, they now realise its importance,” he said.

Taxi operator, Sachin Lal, said he always took a positive approach in his daily taxi operations in an effort to meet his target.

“Sometimes, I don’t meet my target but I continue to work hard and make a difference the next day,” Mr Lal said.

 

The 43-year-old said a possibility of festivals and busy events being held in the town in 2022, gave him hope that the New Year will generate a reasonable income.

He added the Christmas period generated a good income for him.

 

Feedback: sampras.anand@fijisun.com.fj



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