LTA says concerns raised unfounded

CONCERNS raised by existing Western Division taxi operators that 1557 new permits would render the industry uncompetitive are unfounded, says the Land Transport Authority.

The LTA issued the statement in response to claims by the Fiji Taxi Association that the recent opening up of permits for Lautoka and Nadi would make life difficult for west cabbies.

Fiji Taxi Association general secretary Rishi Ram also said the LTA should have done a study on how the 1557 additional permits would impact existing operators before going ahead with the exercise.

In response, the LTA said it had taken into account all aspects of the industry before making the new permit announcement last month.

“The LTA has acted within the provision of its new regulations in the Land Transport (Public Service Vehicles) (Amendment) Regulations, 2017, which is aimed at ensuring standardisation in the taxi industry and development, that at the same time furnishes the needs of the service demanding population and the service providers,” said LTA.

“The taxi quota will only assist the industry to cater for the population demand in the particular zone.

“As such, taxi permit quotas have been decided based on the availability of taxis in the particular zone.

“If, for example, there needs to be 1000 taxi permits and 900 already exists within the transport zone, then the LTA will call for 100 more applications for the particular zone.”

The association said the explanation given by LTA did not justify adding 1557 new permits and has sought legal advice on the issue.

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