Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Taxi Story - Charging Not The Fair Fare

Rouge cabbies not using meters  was highlighted by the New Straits Times last week.

Last year, taxi fare had been raised from RM2.50 to RM3.00 because of rising costs and a "no haggling, this is a metered taxi" campaign was launched in July this year. Drivers are to follow the more stringent guidelines introduced by the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board in February.
Despite all steps taken, many errant taxi drivers still refuse to use meters.

In an undercover operation conducted by the board, despite continued measures to curb the menace,  only 15 of 627 taxis  were found to be following regulations.
Referring to  a letter published in The Star,  local public transport is ranked one of the worst, if not the worst, in the world is not without reason.
Rouge drivers not only fleece innocent and hapless passengers but also bring much inconvenience and stress to all concerned.


It was June 2009 and my siblings with their families usually celebrated Father's Day in JB as My Husband's and Children's birthday falls on June 19, 26 and July 3 respectively - all 7 days apart. 

My sister, not wanting to trouble us, decided on taking a cab from the new CIQ to Tebrau City, which is about 13km away. 
They were required to pay RM20 at the taxi booth first before the journey. The driver, with his taxi meter running, asked for the fare of RM20, as was on the meter. 

When we met, they related of their new experience of having to pay twice for one ride. I wasn't sure of the rules then, with the new regulation. 
Only after the family's second trip to the shopping mall again, that they knew they were being double-charged.

The expectation out of a taxi driver and the cost of getting public transport becomes unpredictable. 
We never quite know  the final cost  of getting from one place to another where we do not expect this to happen.

While there are many rogue taxi drivers, there are also many good and kind cabbies too.
A few drivers I met, while sitting in their cabs, keep reminding me the chances of meeting a rouge driver is more when taking a cab opposite the mosque in Larkin market compared to taking a cab in front of the market itself.

Then, there is an almost 100% chance of meeting these rouge drivers when taking a cab parked nearby the Larkin bus exit.

How about a rewarding or demeriting drivers for passengers to give feedback once they alight the cab. Feasible?

Well, undisciplined taxi drivers is not local issue.
It's everywhere.


June 1, 2010 - Cabbie Swallows Taxi-Meter Device
A taxi driver swallowed a small, taxi-meter device used to illegally cheat on fares after he was stopped for a routine check outside the World Expo site by the traffic authority in Shanghai, China
Huang Xiaoyong, official of the Shanghai Urban Communications Administration Bureau, said the driver who was not identified, was taken for investigation after the incident on Sunday.

If the driver had installed the device, he will be stripped of his license.
The incident happened at a check last week outside the Expo Site in the Pudong New Area. It was recorded in a local TV news report.
When the driver was asked to get out his car for the check, he suddenly tore down the little motor on the meter and swallowed it, astonishing everyone at the scene.
Officers soon caught the man but failed to get the device out by holding him down. The driver even wet himself when caught by the officers, witnesses said.
Wu Runyuan, a Shanghai traffic law enforcement team official, said the installation of a little motor on the meter was a common trick for cabbies to overcharge passengers.
With the little device the driver can easily cheat on taxi fares.
But Wu said the practice was banned and that a cabbie's license will be revoked if caught. - The Star

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