Taxis should provide 24-hour service: LTA
Operators must adapt to changing lifestyles, stop blaming illegal taxis for taking away business.
Land Transport Authority chief executive Naisa Tu-inaceva yesterday made the call on taxi operators to deliver 24 hour service to the public.
He believes the taxi operators must adapt to the changing lifestyles of customers rather than blaming illegal taxis for taking away their business.
“Illegal taxis are doing the job of legal taxi operators because they are failing to meet the demand for service, especially after hours,” he said. “There are an adequate number of taxi permits available nationwide to cater for demand at all times, so we do not see any reason why the taxi industry should not be able to do its job.”
Currently, there are 6019 valid taxi permits nationwide, of which 4,295 are being used in the Central Eastern region, 1264 are in the Western region, while 460 are in the Northern region.
There are 322 valid minibus permits nationwide, of which 160 are being used in the Central Eastern region, while 158 are available in the Western region.
In total, 424 Rural Services Permits have been issued nationwide, of which 176 are based in the Central Eastern region, while 142 are being used in the Western region. Mr Tuinaceva said the authority did not condone illegal operators although they were filling in the vacuum created by legal service providers.
“The public is forced to travel in illegal taxis because the legal ones are not around at all times,” he said. “The authority does not condone illegal operations and will continue to crackdown on such operators,” Mr Tuinaceva said.
The authority is also appealing to legal PSV operators who are operating illegal taxis to refrain from doing so as this is unfair on PSV operators who are operating within the boundaries of the system and are paying tax, third party and base fee. The public is encouraged to report illegal public transport to LTA via free texting code 582 and email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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