Extreme Taxi Fare Hike a ‘No-Win’ Situation
July 11, 2022
The call by Taxi Associations for the extreme hike in taxi fares would not only have a huge impact on Fijian commuters, but will also negatively affect the taxi businesses. While the Fiji Taxi Association has called for an increase from the current 10 cents to between 15 – 20 cents per 100 meters, the Fiji Cabbies Operators Association is calling for an increase to 30 cents for the same. If these increases proposed by the two Associations were to eventuate, a taxi ride that cost $5 now may increase to approximately $8.50 or $12.00 respectively.
Whilst the Consumer Council of Fiji (CCoF) understands that there has been consistent increase in fuel prices over the past few months, the Chief Executive Officer Ms Seema Shandil said that Taxi Associations need to be mindful of the impact a sudden and huge fare increase will have – both on the public transportation industry and the consumers. The current international economic situation should not be used as a springboard to demand for extreme fare hikes.
“Consumers are already reeling with the increase of the recent bus fare and high cost of living due the inflationary pressure emanating from various global factors. A remarkable increase in fare would definitely see the patronage or demand for taxi services decline, compelling commuters to opt for cheaper mode of transport. Hence, any increase being contemplated must take into account the fact that Fijians are already facing the brunt of the increase in international prices of goods,” said Ms Shandil.
The Council, as the independent voice of Fijian consumers, is also making a submission to Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission (FCCC) to ensure that the interests of consumers are taken into account during the current fare review. Fijian consumers also urged to make individual submissions to ensure that their views are taken into account.
For any consumer related issues, consumers are encouraged to contact the Council on toll-free number 155 or lodge a complaint using the Consumer Council of Fiji mobile app. Alternatively, consumers can lodge complaints via the Consumer Council of Fiji website.