A JOINT operation by the Lautoka City Council, Land Transport Authority and the police will begin on Monday to crack down on illegal transport operators in the Sugar City.
Lautoka special administrator Praveen Bala said the operation had one primary task ù to ascertain the scope of illegal transport services in the city.
"The operation will continue for approximately a week and while we do not want to rush into it, this is an issue that needs to be addressed once and for all because it has been a reoccurring problem for many years now," Mr Bala said.
Fiji Taxi Association Lautoka branch president Ramen Bhan Singh said his organisation was prepared to operate on a 24-hour basis once illegal operators were removed.
"We are ready to fill the void that is currently being filled by illegal operators," he said. "Once the operation begins, we will gauge the situation over the first few days and see where our members can be most effective and offer services from there for the benefit of the travelling public."
Mr Singh said his group was discussing a 24-hour telephone number Lautoka residents could call if they needed a taxi and were also looking at a rotating roster system for taxis based at Tukani St in the city.