TRANSIT came across this letter in the newspaper today from “Code 14” of Selangor. The letter shows us that there is always a story behind the scenes.
LET the decision makers at the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board (CVLB) drive a budget taxi for a day and experience first-hand how much they can make working eight to 12 hours. This they would have to do by following all the rules they have enforced.
They must use the meter, accept passengers even for short trips in traffic jams and join the queue, be it at KLCC, the Bukit Bintang area or at hotels.
Like the 15 honest taxi drivers (most likely retired pensioners) out of 627 taxi drivers surveyed, they must also join the long queue at the NGV stations when they run out of gas.
At the end of the day, see how much is collected, minus the daily rental (about RM50) and gas. Do this for a week. I am sure, after the experience, they will be in a better position to decide on the fare for the budget taxi which has not changed “since the stone age”.
Taxi drivers do not enjoy subsidies, bonuses, medical leave, EPF and the benefits most wage earners enjoy. So at least give them something to cheer by revising the rate and allowing them to pick up passengers at KLIA.
Speaking of KLIA, I read a letter where the writer would rather opt for the airport limo than an illegal taxi though the fare is exhorbitant.
Actually the tourist in question went through a middleman who will give RM50 to the driver and pocket the rest. The actual metered fare is about RM62, while the airport limo charges a flat rate of RM91.
Besides the daily rental of RM100 to RM150 on the 2,000 taxis, the airport limo operator also collects 20% on each trip.
And speaking of rentals, I know of one company that still collects RM25 for the permits daily on 70 premier cabs, although all have been fully paid up after five years.
Imagine getting RM52,500 every month to rent a piece of paper. Why can’t it surrender the permits together with the taxis once full payment has been made?
This very interesting letter by Code 14 reflects that the problems within the taxi industry are very systematic and need to be resolved quickly.
Enforcement is not going to be an effective solution if it only catches the small fish while the big fish roam free. At the same time, the current situation is untenable and change is needed desperately.
We can only hope that the new SPAD will rise from the ashes of the CVLB and bring some reasonable improvement – but as the letter above shows, there is clearly a long, long way to go.