Where are the certified identification cards for taxi fare beneficiaries?

04/11/2011 10:51

While the Consumer Council is appreciative of the fact that a 20 percent fareconcession has been awarded for up to 20km of distance to senior and physically challenged citizens, the Council however is disappointed with the inaction on the part of relevant stakeholders to make this happen. The new taxi fare comes into effect from 7 November and senior and physically challenged citizens are not aware how it will be implemented.

With the announcement of new taxi fare increase few weeks ago, certain conditionswere laid out in the agreement between the Government and the Fiji Taxi Union. Oneof it was to give 20percent discount on the new taxi fare within the perimeter of20km to senior and physically challenged citizens. The Fiji Taxi Union through apublic notice has announced to support this in good faith.

To date the Council has not seen any sign of this happening. It has not even been mentioned as to which appropriate agency would be issuing the certifiedidentification cards.

A number of consumers have raised concerns as to how they will benefit from this arrangement when they are not equipped with appropriate identification cards in the first place.

A number of consumers have raised concerns as to how they will benefit from thisa rrangement when they are not equipped with appropriate identification cards in thefirst place.

The Council on behalf of the consumers seeks answers from all stakeholdersinvolved. The Ministry of Transport should make an announcement to guide thepublic who are continuously enquiring this. Today is the last working day and thenew taxi fare will be implemented after two days. The delay in the issuance ofidentification cards will mean double suffering for our senior and physicallychallenged citizens.

Part of the signed agreement also states for taxi meters to be switched on at all timesfor throughout Fiji and for taxi drivers to produce a receipt upon demand bypassengers. The issued receipt would contain details such as fare charged, distancetravelled, taxi registration number, owners contact details etc.

Passengers are therefore advised to ensure the meter is switched on when they boarda taxi and to demand for a receipt as the evidence of their travel shall they require anyredress later. Consumers should also practice taxi pooling as this will lessen the burden of paying high taxi fares individually.

The Council also urges the Land Transport Authority to be vigilant in its monitoringof taxis using meters and issuing receipts which is compulsory under the new fare conditions.

The Council will be closely monitoring the movement of taxi operators to ensure they live up to their words and meet public expectation in their service delivery.