Taxi Drivers Warned for Refusing Short Runs, Charging Extra
July 11, 2022
Taxi Drivers are reminded to strictly adhere to the Public Service Vehicle (PSV) code of conduct and refrain from denying services to commuters who wish to travel short distances. Consistent grievances have been raised by commuters after being denied services by taxi drivers solely because they had a short travel route.
In one of the cases lodged at the Council, a passenger intended to travel from Suva City to the Bowling Club hence, hailed a taxi. However, after the passenger informed the driver of her destination, she was refused service and was asked to exit the taxi.
“Not only it is illegal for taxi operators to refuse services under PSV Regulation 32(6), it is a breach of consumers right to access public transportation. Many consumers often hail a taxi to travel short distances because they are running late or consider it safer than walking or travelling by an alternative means. Hence, this practice is not only an inconvenience, but also places the safety of Fijians at risk,” stated CCoF Chief Executive Officer, Ms Shandil.
This cherry-picking practice by certain drivers will not be condoned and consumers must note down the details of the taxi denying services and report the matter to CCoF or LTA.
The Council is also investigating concerns raised by aggrieved passengers that certain taxi drivers are demanding a fee of $2.00 apart from the actual fare when they opt to use their mobile money wallet to pay their fare. Charging consumers anything apart from the fare displayed in the taximeter is a breach of Regulation 29 of the Land Transport (PSV) Regulation 2000 and must cease immediately. Furthermore, such practices also discourage the use of digital finance and impedes national efforts to create a cashless society.
“We are urging passengers to check whether there would be additional charges if they wish to make fare payment via mobile money wallet before boarding. This would ensure an informed decision is made and commuters do not end up forking out additional cash after reaching their intended destination,” said Ms Shandil.
Consumers who come across taxi drivers refusing service are encouraged to contact the Council on the toll-free number 155, email email@example.com. Alternatively, consumers can also lodge complaints using the Consumer Council of Fiji mobile app.