30 Dec 2003

Taxi drivers in Fiji upset about new conditions for operating

4:16 pm on 30 December 2003

The Fiji Taxi Union says there won't be any taxis left on the road if tough new operating conditions are introduced.

Rishi Ram, the union's secretary-general, says many of the six thousand taxis in Fiji will fail new licensing requirements that the vehicle be no older than 12 years from the date of manufacture.

He says the Land Transport Authority is also introducing new license plates for taxis in order to get illegal vehicles off the road.

Mr Ram says this is a good idea which was originally proposed by the union but the cost for it should be borne by the LTA.

"To make a new number plate, it will cost about 14 dollars and 50 cents. Then you have to make or trace on the computer, that will be costing us 9 dollars per taxi. Then change the third party policy - costs 11 dollars. Then you have to go back to town council, city council who issues the base letters - alterations there will cost about 7 dollars so you're looking around 40 - 45 dollars per tax."

Rishi Ram says an emergency meeting of the union is being held next Monday to decide what their response to the new requirements will be.