KUCHING: The Road Transport Department (JPJ) has identified six towns in Sarawak with pirate taxis operating rampantly, including those that offer transport to Brunei and Kalimantan.
Its director-general Datuk Solah Mat Hassan said the towns were Kuching, Samarahan, Sri Aman, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri.
He said the department and the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board (CVLB) would take action against the pirate taxis in these towns as a start.
The steps to be taken would include enforcement officers going undercover and posing as passegers to nab the owners of the illegal taxis, he told a news conference at the department’s state headquarters here
He said JPJ and CVLB would also hold dialogues with such operators to encourage them to turn legitimate.
“From our investigations and monitoring, we have identified 723 pirate taxis in 12 towns in Sarawak,” he said.
Pirate taxis are vehicles registered as private vehicles but used to ferry passengers for a fare.
Meanwhile, CVLB is instructing all metered taxis in Sarawak to comply with the new fare rate enforced since Aug 1 although they have submitted a memorandum asking for a revision of the rates.
Sarawak CVLB director Wan Samsulri Wan Hasbi said CVLB was open to suggestions but the new fare rates had been agreed upon by the taxi assocations before being implemented.
“We had a meeting with various taxi assocations and we advised them to comply with the new rates before making assumptions or jumping to conclusions that the new rate would cause them to incur losses,” he said.
He added that CVLB would hold a meeting with taxi owners after Hari Raya Aidilfitri to resolve the matter.
In Sarawak, there are about 900 metered taxis but the new rates are only implemented in Kuching, Sibu and Miri.
The rest of the state is not bound by it.
Last Tuesday, Solah was reported as saying that metered taxi owners in Sarawak, Sabah and Penang had yet to modify their meters to reflect the new fare rates for fear of incurring losses. — Bernama
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