THE Consumer Council of Fiji deems the move against e-ticketing for taxis by some members of Fiji Taxi Association (FTA) as absolutely irrational and naive.
Once again, some FTA members are coming up with lame excuses to avoid proper accountability and transparency. The Council however is not surprised with this reaction from the members as it has been done in the past in the case of issuance of receipts by taxis.
Those members who are against this call made by Land Transport Authority (LTA) should let go of their comfort zone and cooperate with the authorities to improve the standard of public transportation service as a whole in Fiji.
The opposition by some FTA members for e-ticketing on the basis that it is “not suitable to the industry” and fear that “who will pay the fare if the card declines or machine fails to respond” is absurd. Such excuses serve the selfish interests of those operators who do not wish to be transparent on the revenue flow within the taxi industry and paying the appropriate tax to Government. The risk of not paying fare also applies to the current system where consumers are still expected to pay at the end of the journey.
It is apparent that these members who raised their concern in media do not want to let the LTA, Government and the public to know exactly how much money they make because e-ticketing system will provide a more transparent and realistic picture of actual revenues they generate. In addition, any fare increase demanded by FTA can be justified on the basis of documented revenue information rather than hearsay.
Currently there is lack of accountability and transparency in this industry which LTA is trying to fix and consumers demand transparency and accountability when paying for goods and services.
Why can’t the union see these benefits arising from the proposed e-ticketing for taxis?
Instead of being forward-looking and contributing to improving their businesses, the taxi operators are preoccupied with resisting positive changes being brought about by the LTA and the Government. It is about time that taxi operators accept the realities that they must adapt to modern way of doing business.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, CONSUMER COUNCIL OF FIJI