JOHOR BARU: Taxi drivers plying the Johor Baru-Singapore route hope the state government will engage with them and discuss plans in conjunction with Visit Johor Year 2020 campaign.
Driver Baharudin Mokhtar, 70, said the relevant state agencies, including Tourism Johor, should have approached them with the promotional materials such as flyers and brochures.
“Most of us are not aware that next year is Visit Johor Year 2020,’’ he said when met at the Larkin Sentral bus terminal.
Baharudin said the flyers and brochures on tourism attractions in Johor could be placed at the Ban San Street taxi terminal in Singapore.
He said there were many passengers, including foreign tourists, using the cross-border taxis and buses from the Ban San Street Terminal to enter the country via Johor Causeway.
Another driver, Hassan Nordin, 35, urged the Immigration Department to open all 40 lanes at the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigrations and Quarantine (CIQ) complex.
“Sometimes only 50% or 70% of the lanes are open, even during peak hours, and this is one of the main reasons why the Malaysian sides are always congested compared with the Singapore side,’’ he said.
Hassan said the Singapore authorities fully utilised all lanes at the Woodlands checkpoint by opening them up regardless of the volume of vehicles.
He also urged both Malaysia and Singapore authorities to nab Malaysian registered vehicles offering illegal cross-border taxi services at Larkin Sentral Terminal and Ban San Street Terminal.
“What they are doing is unfair to the licensed cross-border taxi drivers,’’ said Hassan, adding that the illegal taxis also offer door-to-door services between Johor and Singapore.
Tan You Lai, 60, agreed with Hassan that congestion at the Johor Causeway was not good for Johor, especially it the state wanted to attract more visitors from Singapore.
The taxi driver said Tourism Johor should make efforts to hold discussions with taxi drivers to help promote Visit Johor Year 2020 campaign.
“We should not be kept in the dark.
“As taxi drivers we can be ‘mini ambassadors’ and help spread information and create awareness on the campaign,” he said.