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Old 5th January 2010, 07:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Some cabbies back to old tricks

Some cabbies back to old tricks

By Arman Ahmad, New Straits Times
Sun, Jan 3 2010

Commuters irate over irresponsible taxi drivers that overcharge and refuse to use their meters.

SOME things never change.

Some taxi drivers continue to overcharge, despite the recent fare increase, and also pick-and-choose passengers and destinations, say irate commuters.

Razali Awang, who regularly takes a taxi from One Utama Shopping Centre in Petaling Jaya to his home in Damansara Damai, says he sometimes has to beg to be taken to his destination.

"Not only do they not use the meter, they don't take just any passenger. We have to beg them to serve us.

"If you line up for a cab at One Utama, you would be lucky to get one. It is not easy getting a taxi if your destination is out of the way or too close by."

He recalls one incident when a taxi driver charged him RM15 (S$6.16) for a 2km trip from Ikano in Mutiara Damansara to Sungai Penchala.

"He didn't use the meter. When I asked him why it was so expensive, he told me it was because we had to cross the highway, so it's a special case."

Razali says calling a cab from home is even worse.

"They don't want to use the meter.

"They say they will not be able to get a customer on the way back.

"I would say that 60 per cent of the time, taxi drivers don't use the meter. They will give all kinds of excuses, even saying that the meter is broken."

Another regular taxi passenger Hisham Hamid (not his real name) says despite the fare increase, many irresponsible taxi drivers are still up to their old tricks.

"It's all about the attitude of the taxi drivers," says the consultant.

"Even before the rate increase, there were already taxi drivers who used the meter.

"These are the responsible taxi drivers, but there are those with bad attitude."

Hisham, who does not have a driving licence and depends solely on taxis to get around Kuala Lumpur, says he has made numerous complaints to the authorities about errant taxi drivers.

"Every weekend, I go to Mid Valley Megamall to watch a movie, and there is a taxi stand where people line up to wait for taxis.

"The taxi drivers there have become so bold that they even negotiate fares while picking up passengers at the stand."

Hisham says they have requested for a RM15 to RM20 fee for a short trip from Mid Valley to Bangsar Utama, which is less than 5km away,

"If they pause for a while before letting you in, then you know they are not going to use the meter."

To make matters worse, the drivers sometimes even refuse to take him on that short journey.

"I have gone from taxi to taxi numerous times and the drivers have refused me.

"Sometimes I get so far down the line that people will stare at me thinking I'm trying to cut queue. It is embarrassing."

"I have lodged reports against these drivers and action has been taken, but it takes time and effort to complain.

"What needs to be there is proper and serious enforcement.

"Tourism is the second highest income earner in the country. If we are striving for developed nation status, we should be able to handle a simple thing like this."

Hisham says taxi drivers can earn more if they manage their time better.

"If their time is badly managed, they will end up with less earnings."

Taxi driver Rozali (not his real name) says the attitude of some of the drivers need to be fixed.

"There are still a lot of drivers who do not use the meter and choose passengers.

" It happens especially in areas where the customers don't have much of a choice, such as the KTM Komuter stations in isolated places like Serdang."

He says at these places, taxi drivers will pick and choose their passengers.

"It's all about their attitude. Maybe they want to make extra profit.

"Some of them don't really want to work that much.

"They loiter about until afternoon and suddenly, they don't have enough to cover the rental."

He says a taxi driver will earn about RM100 a day if he works from morning till evening.

"But if they go around overcharging tourists in Bukit Bintang, they can earn much more."


"Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth". - 1 John 3:18
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