Letter | Taxi operator compensation not being properly addressed

On Tuesday The Herald reported that the Integrated Public Transport System (IPTS) would next week begin a two-week trial run on the Cleary Park route (“Date set for IPTS buses to start rolling”).

The implication is that, immediately after the fares-free trial period, the full service on the route will begin.

I am a taxi operator, a member of one of the taxi associations with which the city has allegedly been negotiating about the Cleary Park route.

I say “allegedly”, because as an ordinary operator on the ground, I have been given no information whatsoever about the proposals – even though they threaten to take away the businesses which the Nelson Mandela Bay taxi industry has operated for some 50 years.

The Herald reported member of the mayoral committee for transport Rano Kayser as saying they were in the process of finalising the compensation agreements.

I would like to know the details of these proposed compensation payments, but I can get no information.

My concern is that the amounts will not take into account the loss of income which has resulted from the unwillingness of the city to carry out its legal duties. I am a legal operator on my route. I have an operating licence for each of my taxis, issued by the provincial regulatory authority.

The system is intended to ensure that only those who have been granted an operating licence are allowed to operate on a specified route.

However, we find in practice that large numbers of taxis operate on my route without the necessary operating licence.

It is one of the reasons why there is so much chaos in taxi services, as your readers regularly point out.

We have complained to the city’s traffic law enforcers, but to no avail.

The city does nothing to prosecute these illegal operators.

One obvious result has been to reduce the income of the legitimate operators on the route.

When the municipality calculates the amount of the compensation, it is very unlikely that it will take into account the loss of income resulting from these illegal operations.

Unless this issue of financial compensation is properly addressed, the IPTS may well run into justifiable opposition from the present taxi operators.