Decision to affect operators, says Ram

People turn out in numbers to lodge their application for the new taxi permit in Lautoka yesterday. Picture: REINAL CHAND

TAXI operators need to make at least $1000 per month just to survive and adding another 1557 permits will not help them meet financial obligations and basic living needs.

This was the view of Fiji Taxi Association general secretary Rishi Ram.
He made the comment in the wake of a press statement by the Land Transport Authority last Sunday, announcing the first call for taxi permit applications for the Nadi-1, Nadi-2 and Lautoka-1 transport zones.
“We have raised serious concerns about the lifting of the taxi permit freeze because it will make it extremely difficult for existing permit holders to pay loans and mortgages and earn a living for their families,” he said.
“Each taxi has to earn $1000 a month to survive and the question we are asking is, will someone who has been granted a permit in rural Nadi or Lautoka be able to earn this amount by operating strictly within his service area.
“We all know the answer to that question, they will not and this means they will all converge into Nadi Town and Lautoka City, and this means existing permit holders will be deprived of business,” Mr Ram said.
Meanwhile, hundreds gathered at Lautoka Girmit Centre yesterday to lodge applications for the 1557 permits up for grabs.

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