Update: The Minister of Tourism wants to make taxi drivers into tourism ambassadors with “basic communication skills”.
TRANSIT could not let this article pass by without posting it and commenting.
The Minister of Tourism wants to make taxi drivers into tourism ambassadors with “basic communication skills”Unfortunately, we are terribly busy with yesterday’s planned post on the recent interview with SPAD about bus transformation – so once again, we will just post the article and try to get our comments updated as soon as possible.
Wednesday February 29, 2012
By P. ARUNA
PETALING JAYA: An English tourist was charged RM450 for a taxi ride from KL Sentral to the Suria KLCC shopping centre, a distance of less than 10km.
The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) said the tourist paid the fare before lodging a report against the driver.
SPAD chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar said they were investigating and would take action against the taxi driver and the operator.
He said the taxi driver was believed to have threatened the tourist into paying the fee.
“Taxi drivers are our frontliners and ambassadors of the country as they interact with tourists daily.
“We are taking this seriously as it affects the country’s image,” he said after opening SPAD’s new enforcement centre at the Persada Plus here yesterday.
He said SPAD was conducting a study to regulate the pricing mechanism for the taxi coupon system.
“We want feedback from taxi drivers and passengers before proceeding with the study,” he said, adding that there were mixed views about the coupon system.
While some supported it, he said, others saw it as restrictive.
“Some drivers said they would be unable to take passengers if they were not part of the taxi coupon system, while others felt it restrict-ed their movement,” he said, adding that the system was implemented privately by mall and airport operators.
SPAD also announced the purchase of 17 new vehicles, which will be used by its enforcement officers nationwide.
Syed Hamid said the highest number of reports SPAD received were against illegal taxi touts, followed by complaints about overloaded lorries on the road.
In the 3,845 operations conducted since Jan 2010, 74 individuals and operators have been taken to court.
We will comment soon. In the meantime, please comment in the space below. Oh, and we think TRANSIT has a good plan for reforming the taxi industry. We’ve commented on it in the past on our site. But we have to wonder how many policymakers have actually reviewed it.