Taxi: CVLB rules causing a sticky situation (Update #3)

Updated with 4 interesting articles!

Original Post

TRANSIT took note of the following articles in the newspaper on 1 April 2010 that we wished were nothing more than an April Fool’s joke.

Unfortunately they are real – but happily, they reveal more and more about the taxi industry and the issues, competition and decision making at the CVLB that are behind the problems that many of us see on the roads.

Too many stickers for cabbies’ liking (The Star)
Stories by BAVANI M
bavanim@thestar.com.my

TOO many rules, too many regulations and too many stickers! That’s the general sentiment from city cabbies when asked to comment on the latest CVLB (Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board) ruling to display the No Haggling sticker.

Most cabbies say that some of the stickers are redundant and are a waste of money. Others feel that it makes their taxis look ugly and some even complained that they are running out of space for the stickers.

Too many: City cabbies say they spend RM100 a year to buy redundant stickers and it's burning a hole in their pockets. Image courtesy of The Star.

Taxi drivers also allege that they are forced to buy too many redundant stickers even though it is not compulsory under the CVLB guidelines, but if they fail to display it, they will be penalised by Puspakom (Pusat Pemeriksaan Kenderaan Berkomputer) when they take their cars for inspection.

[TRANSIT: Sounds like one government agency not talking to another government agency.]

“I was penalised once for not displaying the NGV (natural gas vehicle) sticker when I took my taxi for inspection. Despite knowing that it was not compulsory to display the NGV sticker, I had no choice but to the officer off,” a disgruntled driver who spoke on condition of anonymity said.

Another taxi driver who identified himself as Logan said he faced a similar situation when Puspakom failed him for not displaying the Welcome sticker.

“These stickers are troublesome and they (the authorities) keep coming up with so many different ones every year,” he said.

“For instance, the latest No Haggling sticker is redundant because taxis already have a sign with the word Metered Taxi displayed on the roof,” cabbie Rahim K said.

[TRANSIT: Yes, exactly…and the drivers of Teksi Bermeter (Metered Taxis) always use the meter…right….right?]

Peter Lai added, “I spend a minimum of RM100 a year just for the stickers and some of it are of such poor quality that it keeps coming off.’’

“The least they can do is give us the stickers for free. It’s unfair to burden us further as this is something we can do without,’’ Lai said.

Cabbies say that taxi operators should provide drivers with free stickers and it was the social responsibility of the taxi companies to do so.

[TRANSIT: Social responsibility? No, it should be the responsibility of the permit owner as part of their CVLB permit requirements.]

“I got my stickers for free the first time but when it came off and I went back to get another I was told I had to buy it,” Lai said Lai.

Meanwhile, a printing company supplying taxi stickers in Chow Kit agreed that there were so many rules to follow that even they get confused.

“We try to help out by giving a good rebate to the cabbies and when you buy in bulk, it’s even cheaper,” a representative from the company said.

The response from the CVLB:

Naimah: Stickers for passengers, not the drivers (The Star)

“IF they (the taxi drivers) are budak baik (good boys), then we don’t need to come up with all these sticker rules,” CVLB director Datin Naimah Ramli said in response to the cabbies complaining that there were too many sticker rules to follow.

“The stickers are not for the drivers but for the consumers. When we raised the taxi rates last year, people were shocked at the new rates and there were many complaints of cabbies fleecing customers.

“The stickers are meant to educate consumers on their rights,” Naimah said.

Star Graphic showing the list of stickers that taxi drivers must have, and their respective costs. Image courtesy of The Star.

Naimah said when a customer gets into a taxi, they would know their rights at once. The new rates, no haggling and clients charter and CVLB hotline stickers should ideally be on display inside and outside the taxi.

“The mandatory issuance of receipts is another means to protect the consumers. When you ask for a receipt, every little detail from the taxi no, duration, distance, taxi company phone no, meter serial number, waiting time, midnight charges, date, time, conplaints hotline are also printed.

“All this is done for the benefit of the consumers so that they cannot be taken for a ride by unscrupulous taxi drivers,” she said.

Naimah said this was also another way to get the public to be the eyes and ears of the CVLB.

“Let’s be frank. There are 31,000 taxis out there and I only have 100 officers in my enforcement team. It’s impossible to catch all of them, but with the people’s help, we can do it,” she said.

[TRANSIT: No, you cannot do it if it is impossible – even with the public’s help – because ‘cannot do it’ is the very definition of the word impossible.]

Naimah added that the CVLB did not supply the stickers so there was no way it could be a money-making scam.

[TRANSIT: Well, someone is making money off this.]

Dilemna: Some cabbies say they have to display the various stickers or Puspakom will penalise them when they send their vehicles for inspection. Image courtesy of The Star.

“We only provide a sample to the taxi associations and operators and they print the stickers,” she said.

Meanwhile, Federal Territory and Selangor Taxi and Hired Car Asso cia­tion (Perpekli) Datuk Aslah Abdullah rubbished claims made by cabbies about the low-quality stickers.

“Buy the stickers from legitimate places and not at petrol pumps or printing shops. The quality and prices offered by the associations is much better. We support the government’s move to educate the public but the drivers must also play their part,” he said.

Malaysian Taxi Drivers and Taxi-Limousine and Hired Car Operators Association (Petekma) president Yusof Lahir, however, defended cabbies and agreed that the operators should bear the cost of the stickers.

“They should give it free to the drivers — it’s only fair,” he said.

[TRANSIT: We agree!]

Taxi fare table which must be posted inside the rear window of the taxi. Image courtesy of The Star.

Yusof, however, agreed that the stickers served a purpose but defended the drivers’ complaints that the latest ‘No Haggling’ sticker was a waste of money.

“Why put it on the outside when the customer is sitting inside — who is going to see it?” he asked.

When contacted, Sunlight Radio Taxi Service Sdn Bhd — the largest taxi company in the Klang Valley, whose cabs make up about 60% of the total number on the road — said they provided drivers with free stickers the first time around.

Executive director Choi Wei Yee said a rebate was offered when the drivers needed to replace old stickers.

Last year, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz compared taxis to toilets, saying that cabbies caused more problems for tourists than dirty public restrooms.

According to Nazri, there were more complaints by tourists about the taxi drivers’ behaviour than about toilets and the taxi drivers are worse than dirty toilets and the authorities would come down hard on errant cabbies.

TRANSIT Says:

We know what we think about the CVLB and the current taxi system – but what can be done to fix the immediate problems?

Should we direct more attention to the CVLB or to the taxi drivers or the companies themselves? Or should we direct more attention to the customers who want better taxi service?

As always your feedback is welcome. Please comment in the space below, email us at klangvalley.transit@gmail.com, tweet to us @transitmy (twitter.com/transitmy) or visit our facebook page.

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Taxi: CVLB rules causing a sticky situation (Update #3)”

  1. Displaying those stickers are good because they serve to give public info and details and direct public to whom they should direct their complaints if the drivers taking their advantages… Too many taxi drivers taking advantages from the passengers. IN Kuching, CVLB said all taxi must be metered but the metered taxi singn were not displayed and what happened then, they always offer a price instead of using the metered which is installed in the taxi..Can u imagine, for a short distance, I have to pay 32 MYR to get to Kuching Int Airport, which is just not too far from my house? ridiculous right. Because of their lack of honesty, many people afraid to use taxi and they themselves destroyed the taxi service reputation.

  2. Taxi services in Malaysia are still not improved. My exprience:

    a) A taxi driver demand, :” If u want me to use meter, add RM 2 more”

    b) “ok, for RM 5″ . When reach the destination which only 15 minute away. the taxi driver charge more.

    c) When i get in a taxi after midnite at Jalan Sultan Ismail, the taxi driver say, ” kereta sewa, mana ada meter.”

    This is some of incident i encounter after the new taxi charge. This mean, there are some who still think the new tariff is not enough for them. They want more.. and they know the law unable to catch them.

    IF our taxi driver continue to behave like that, forever this problem will not be solved. Malaysia is well known for its taxis. and last few years, our taxi drivers rated the worse in the world by a international travelling magazine.

    I want to complain each time. but i found the system is not convinience. it should be made simple. and passengers shudnt be burden to provide so many details. not all of us are “reporter” and remember every detail. every number. May be for convience for us to report..all taxi should have a unique number ID displaying big and bold on top their vehicle.

    May be a GLC shud be set up and take over the taxi in Klang valley. may be “salary:” taxi driver that not depending on commisions would behave better.

    I think if there is association to protect the rights of taxi driver ,.they should be another NGO to protect passenger from taxi society.

    1. Hi Goh

      Thanks for your comment. I wish that it were easier to complain but this is, unfortunately, the system that we are stuck with.

      Please note that the CVLB does not need to have all of the information – just that the more information they have, the easier it is to identify and punish the people responsible.

      If you and a few other people complain about the same taxi or bus and give different pieces of information, hopefully we can put the pieces together and take action. And hopefully the SPAD will be more motivated to take action.

      Thanks for your efforts.

      Sincerely

      Moaz for TRANSIT

  3. Totally agreed with Goh on that passengers are not reporters; and may I add, not enforcement officers either.

    The CLVB is just a bunch of dummies, and that’s a polite word. They need to be effective and hire enforcement officers and not ask consumers to do their job. STOP PASSING THE BUCK!

  4. “Let’s be frank. There are 31,000 taxis out there and I only have 100 officers in my enforcement team. It’s impossible to catch all of them, but with the people’s help, we can do it,” she said.

    [TRANSIT: No, you cannot do it if it is impossible – even with the public’s help – because ‘cannot do it’ is the very definition of the word impossible.]

    BULLS***!!!
    How many summons issued by each officer per day? If it is only one summon per official per day, it would more than 36,000 summons per year and sufficient to clean up the really hard-core bad cabbies.

    Passengers can further help when CLVB had done its part.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s