Re­forms Lead To Ef­fi­cient, Re­li­able Ser­vices

Fiji Sun - - Nation - LOSIRENE LACANIVALU Edited by Percy Kean :losirene.lacanivalu@fi­

The Min­is­ter for Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, In­fra­struc­ture and Trans­port Parveen Bala con­firmed in Par­lia­ment yes­ter­day that the Taxi In­dus­try Re­forms in­cludes the de­mar­ca­tion of 34 iden­ti­fied trans­port zones. Re­spond­ing to ques­tions raised by SODELPA Op­po­si­tion MP Aseri Radro­dro, Mr Bala said the ini­tia­tive was un­der­taken by the Gov­ern­ment through the Land Trans­port Author­ity (LTA) to im­prove and mod­ernise ser­vices within Fiji’s taxi in­dus­try.

Mr Bala said the ini­tia­tive was part of the re­cent Taxi In­dus­try Re­form.

A key fo­cus of the min­istry in line with the re­cent amend­ment to the Land Trans­port (Pub­lic Ser­vice Ve­hi­cle) Amend­ment Reg­u­la­tions 2017.

“This re­form in­cludes the de­mar­ca­tion of 34 iden­ti­fied trans­port zones de­vel­oped with the in­ten­tion of im­prov­ing trans­port ac­cess to meet the in­creas­ing cus­tomer de­mand for ef­fi­cient and re­li­able taxi ser­vices,” he said.

“The in­tro­duc­tion of trans­port zones will im­prove cus­tomer ser­vices in terms of taxi avail­abil­ity, ser­vice re­li­a­bil­ity, re­duce wait­ing time and more im­por­tantly re­duce the over­sup­ply of taxi ser­vices in one par­tic­u­lar area or cor­ri­dor which also con­trib­utes to traf­fic con­ges­tions.

“There have been cases where some taxi op­er­a­tors are oper­at­ing in other ar­eas, away from the bases they were given thus de­priv­ing their cus­tomers ac­ces­si­ble and re­li­able taxi ser­vices.”

Mr Ku­mar said the pur­pose of zone cod­ing num­ber plates would en­sure trans­parency and as­sist en­force­ment op­er­a­tions. “These zonal plates will en­able en­force­ment of­fi­cers to eas­ily iden­tify and mon­i­tor taxis oper­at­ing within a zone,” he said. “Pre­vi­ously we had some le­gal taxis tout­ing in other ar­eas well away from their de­mar­cated stands and bases thus de­priv­ing their cus­tomers an ac­ces­si­ble and re­li­able taxi ser­vice.” He said the Zone Cod­ing ap­proved method in­volved hav­ing a two digit pre­fix gen­er­ated by short­en­ing the name of the par­tic­u­lar zone fol­lowed by four nu­mer­i­cal dig­its. “For ex­am­ple, A taxi run­ning in the Suva zone will have plate num­bers in the for­mat; SU0001, SU0002, SU0003, etc. These plates would be printed in black on dif­fer­ent coloured plates for dif­fer­ent di­vi­sons,” he said

Photo: Ronald Ku­mar

From left, Min­is­ter for Forests Osea Naiqamu, Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ter Parveen Bala and Op­po­si­tion MP Jio­seva Du­lakiver­ata out­side Par­lia­ment on May 17, 2018.

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