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DILEMMA: Public often flag down cabbies where there’s no taxi stands in city
JOHOR BARU: MALAYSIAN Association of Taxi/Limousine Drivers and Operators and Car Rental Operators (Petekma) Johor branch wants more taxi stands in the city.
Its president Jefry Jaafar said he hoped that the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) would cooperate with the local authorities to provide more taxi stands along long stretches in city centre.
"SPAD will issue summonses if we stop at the roadside with yellow line. However, at busy areas like Jalan Wong Ah Fook (near Galleria @ Kotaraya) and Jalan Siew Nam, there is no proper taxi stand although we have often been flagged down by passengers there," he said.
He also urged SPAD to look into the issue of companies who pay taxi drivers through a coupon-based system instead of the metered fare.
"Taxi drivers are affected by this as the coupon system is a fixed rate based on distance while most of them prefer using the meter which is more accurate.
"An example is Plaza Angsana where there's a counter for commuters to buy the coupon for their desired destination before boarding a taxi there," he said when met during the taxi gathering held at Plaza Angsana on Saturday.
Commenting on the issue of rogue taxi drivers, Jefry said SPAD must take firm action against errant drivers.
"As an association, we have already taken action to instill discipline in our drivers by requiring them to wear uniforms to uphold the good image as they are in frontline serving the public.
"Taxi drivers also include those who operate independently (not registered with the association)," he said.
He said Petekma Johor would not hesitate to report any wrongdoing of taxi drivers to SPAD for punishment.
Jefry also said cabbies also competition from executive taxis bearing Kuala Lumpur and Selangor registration numbers who look for passengers at the taxi stand of bus terminal.
"Executive taxis usually pick up passengers at four-star venues. Do they consider taxi stands at Larkin Bus Terminal as a four-star venue? This does not augur well for the local taxi drivers who are trying to make a living here," he said.
Jefry said it was unclear on the category of licence for executive taxis. He claimed that there was only licence for budget taxi, rental car, luxury taxi and budget car.
Johor Baru City Council engineering department's traffic engineer Ihsan Sujani said cabbies currently could pick up passengers at the Galleria @ Kotaraya which was still under construction.
"However, taxi drivers are not allowed to wait for passengers. After the construction is completed in two years, a proper taxi stand will be built there.
"At JB Sentral, a taxi stand will be built about in three or four years when a project across the road (Komtar) and next to City Square is completed.
"Meantime, taxi drivers can enter the basement area to pick up passengers," he said.