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Fiji Time: 4:26 PM on Wednesday 16 April

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Council seeks legal opinion on open bases

Felix Chaudhary
Friday, April 27, 2012

THE Lautoka City Council is seeking legal opinion on the open taxi base system introduced to the central business district in January.

Special administrator Praveen Bala said until such time as the open base system was legally clarified, a temporary suspension had been invoked.

"The approval that we gave for a month for the open base concept has been temporarily suspended until such time as we get the issue legally resolved," he said.

"We will be meeting again in two weeks' time and we will make sure there is a definite resolution to this. It has been coming up over and over again and this can't go on. However, it is important to note that all the stakeholders have agreed to the temporary suspension."

The LCC introduced an open base system following complaints about the non-availability of taxis during peak afternoon hours.

The initiative had allowed any city taxi to pick up passengers from designated bases assigned to fee-paying operators during peak hours and had sparked debates between Lautoka's two taxi bodies รน the Fiji Taxi Association's Lautoka branch and the Lautoka Taxi Operators Association.

Mr Bala said the LCC had expected some stakeholders to resist change when new concepts were being introduced but ensured that whatever measures were being brought in were to benefit the citizens of Lautoka.

"The open base system will not be applicable all day. It will only be for a few hours with a focus on service after 5pm," he said.

The LCC decided to introduce the open base system to provide service to residents shopping at the Lautoka Municipal Market and supermarkets on Yasawa and Vakabale streets during peak afternoon hours.