last gasps of the CVLB?

After the recent embarrassing admission of failure by the director of the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board to improve taxi services, one has to wonder if the CVLB has finally outlived its usefulness.

In the real world, a division that cannot do its job is restructured. An employee that cannot do their job is fired.

The recent announcement of the Cabinet of Dato Seri Najib was notable because of the dissolution of the Ministry of Entrepreneur and Cooperatives Development (MECD). MECD is the parent ministry for the CVLB but without a parent where is the orphaned CVLB to go?

Perhaps like an orphan without guidance they are acting petulant – which may be where the proposal described below came from. Please note that all bold and comments have been placed by TRANSIT:

New idea to deal with taxi woes
By PAULINE ALMEIDA     April 02, 2009 THE Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB) is planning to merge all taxi companies to provide a more professional service in the Klang Valley.

This may take place by the end of this year, said CVLB chairman Datuk Markiman Kobiran.

“There are around nine radio taxi companies in the Klang Valley and if they are merged, it might improve the level of taxi service,” he said.

He was asked to comment on the many complaints by frustrated taxi users who call for taxis, only to be disappointed by the companies.

The major complaint by passengers is that after being put on hold between five to 10 minutes, operators inform them that no taxis are available. This problem, they claim, is the same with all cab companies.

Markiman said he understood the public’s predicament as “it’s happened to me (as well)”. [TRANSIT Says: sure it has]

He said although many of these companies had invested substantially in setting up their respective operations, a merger could be one way to solve the problem.

“This is a very good idea to end the troubles of taxi users. All we need is one of the company owners to lead the discussion and we will coordinate and assist them,” said Markiman.

On another note, CVLB had over the last three months issued 3,000 taxi permits to individuals. [TRANSIT says: thanks for making things even worse]

This, Markiman said, was aimed to make cabs compete for passengers.

When told that even after 20 years, the authorities had yet to solve problems such as in Subang Jaya and USJ, where cabbies dictate their own fares by claiming it was the “Sunway Pyramid rate”, he reminded passengers to lodge complaints.

“There are no such localised rates,” he said. [TRANSIT says: there should be – provided that they are set by the local authority or local government]

On taxi drivers not knowing the routes, he said it was the Road Transport Department (RTD) that issued the Public Service Vehicle (PSV) licence and are responsible for checking on this.

Markiman also said that with other means of public transport available, such as LRT, monorail and buses, it should generate enough competition to ensure cabbies toe the line. Meanwhile, RTD director-general Datuk Solah Mat Hassan said the reason why the taxi service had worsened was because of the attitude of taxi drivers, “who do not serve the public”.

Solah again said what he told Malay Mail last November: That “the public cannot depend on enforcement to ensure better service. The industry should be revamped”.

Malay Mail had reported that Markiman had disagreed with Solah about reviewing the taxi service and instead placed the responsibility on the passengers.

He felt they should exercise their rights in ensuring the taxi service was professionally operated, like in Singapore, Thailand and China.

TRANSIT says:

More nonsense from the now-orphaned CVLB. We can only hope that a real, effective restructuring will soon take place that puts the taxi services in the hands of government agencies that actually want to make a difference.

TRANSIT’s proposal is relatively simple – create only 2 types of taxi service

  • Teksi Bermeter (Meter Taxis) which are regulated by the National Public Transport Commission (or its equivalent local authority) which pick up passengers on-call or at the street.
  • Teksi Berkupon (Coupon Taxis) regulated by the local governments and leaving from taxi stands managed by the local governments – with fares and enforcement under the purview of the local government.

Give us your feedback to the proposal by replying here. You can also read the comments posted to the article page and give your comments there.

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