I feel like I have to write something w.r.t. the issue above. A couple of days ago, a group of taxi drivers staged a protest in front of Pavilion at Jalan Bukit Bintang; to protest against the intimidation by SPAD officers, and against the Go-KL City buses. They claimed that SPAD officers were targeting them unfairly for minor infringements, and the free Go-KL City Bus service are affecting their livelihood.
In my opinion, what the taxi drivers claimed are not totally baseless, but their reasoning is quite pathetic. SPAD had rightly performed its duty to issue summons to renegade taxis. There were too many complaints about taxis and its drivers. I support SPAD in clamping down the errant taxis.
I also believe that taxi drivers are having a hard time earning good wages. However, Go-KL City buses are not the one to be blamed. With over 37,000 taxi permits issued in Klang Valley (according to a Malay Mail article in 2011), no wonder the drivers are having a hard time finding customers. LPKP (SPAD’s predecessor) should be held accountable for the way the issuance of taxi permits are not controlled.
How many taxi trips per day do people in Klang Valley make? What is the average distance they take on taxis? What are the average charges for each trip? Which areas of Klang Valley have the most taxi trips? Which points of starting and destination are the most frequent? What are the demographics of the passengers of taxis? How much does each taxi driver make per day? Has the demand of taxis exceeded the supply of taxis?
Has LPKP or SPAD done any of these studies? How do they use the results of the studies to decide the best policy for taxis? I think they haven’t done any, because if they had, there wouldn’t be 37,000 taxis permits issued by the agency.
I am grateful that SPAD introduce the Go-KL City bus service, but not because it is free. I am grateful because I know now, I can move around downtown KL by bus, without waiting more than 10 minutes for a bus. That is a convenience I like about the SPAD’s new initiative.
I have never liked taking a taxi. I rather take a bus, ride the LRT/Monorel or ride my bicycle to downtown KL. There are too many horror stories about our taxis service. Someone high up in the government still could claim that the taxi drivers are our ambassadors to the tourists. I shudder just thinking about it.
The only good thing that has come out of this protest is that Go-KL City Bus gets a boost in popularity. Now, everyone in Klang Valley knows there is a free bus service called Go-KL City Bus. And my blog also have higher page impressions the past 3 days because many people are googling for “Go-KL”. Cheers!
Read and decide for yourselves.
KL is the BEST! (image from the Star)