Taxi drivers ruthlessly continue to victimize consumers by not using taxi meters as required by the law.
A number of local and expatriate consumers, especially, those travelling in the western division have once again raised their concerns on the unscrupulous behaviour by some taxi drivers. This incident has been witnessed by the Council as well.
Taxi drivers continue to inform intending hirers that they do not operate on meters when approached. These drivers are found to be hiding the meters with towels/cloths and claim that they do not have meters in their vehicles. This gives them the opportunity to make some extra cash as the metered fare is normally much lesser than the estimations dictated by the driver.
These taxi drivers have the audacity to hide taxi meters even though it is compulsory for all taxis to operate using meters. Consumers on average lose more than $2 per trip that goes without the use of meters.
The confidence of these drivers to openly carry on with this illegal operation shows the lack of enforcement in place.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) needs to come out strongly and take such drivers to task. Regular checks must be carried out by the Authority to ensure consumers do not fall victims. Stringent actions must be taken against drivers who are found breaching the laws and regulations in place.
The Fiji Taxi Association must play a key role to educate and discipline their drivers. We do not need a bunch of greedy drivers on the road who are simply a shame to the taxi industry and paint a negative picture of Fiji internationally.
Consumers cannot be taken for a ride by drivers who have no respect for law and order and absolutely have no idea about customer service skills.
LTA must have a proper screening mechanism in place before it issues someone with a public service vehicle driver’s license.
The Council calls on consumers to be mindful that taxis must operate on meters at all times unless it is a long distance trip and the consumer willingly agrees to negotiate the fare. Again, the call for fare negotiation or use of meter for the long distance trip is the consumers and not the drivers.Consumers are urged to demand for receipts when using taxis as that is the only evidence of their travel. If taxi drivers fail to comply, a complaint can be lodged with the Council or LTA.