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Group unhappy with new permits

Repeka Nasiko
Friday, January 24, 2014

NADI taxidrivers will lose revenue if they are only allowed to operate 12 hours a day.

Nadi Taxi Association president Mohammed Hafiz said the new permit would not allow drivers to earn enough to support their families.

"The permit for taxidrivers to operate from 6am to 6pm is something that we are totally against," said Mr Hafiz.

"Our members are providing a service to Nadi Town and there is no need for such a permit."

He said taxidrivers should be allowed to operate whenever they could and their capacity to earn should not be limited to the daytime only.

Mr Hafiz also expressed the association's concerns over operating on Denarau Island.

"We have the Denarau pick-up. We are not getting enough passengers and most of our drivers are losing out on a lot of business.

"A lot of our drivers are forced to rely on passengers who prefer to travel by taxi rather than being the first choice.

"We are competing with other specific services that sometimes are not licensed to operate in the area."

The taxi association president said these issues had been made known to Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum who travelled to Nadi on Wednesday to meet public transport providers.

The A-G told the operators the consultation was organised to allow discussion on problems faced by drivers at the grassroots level.

"We are here essentially to find out what you are facing at the grassroot level on a day-to-day basis," said Mr Sayed-Khaiyum.

"What we can say is that these problems are not easy problems with easy solutions, we need to discuss this with ill those involved to come up with a solution."

LTA spokesman Iliesa Sokia said they were aware of the issues raised by the transport operators.

"We have read these issues through the media and we have been directed to address these issues that were raised," he said.

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