The entire taxi service in Larkin Sentral bus terminal in Johor Bahru, came to a halt for an hour from 10.00 over the weekend after some 300 taxi drivers went on strike in protest against the implementation of a new taxi fare coupon system by the Larkin Sentral bus terminal management, recently.
According to the district taxi drivers’ sports and welfare club deputy chairman, Shamsul Kahar Othman, the purpose of the strike was to voice the taxi drivers’ dissatisfaction over Larkin Sentral bus terminal management for profiteering from their income.
He added, the implementation of the taxi coupon system is affecting the taxi drivers’ income.
Elaborating, he said, the taxi fare coupon issued by Larkin Sentral differs from the actual metered fare, particularly in traffic congestion situation and other circumstances.
He claimed that Larkin Sentral acted just like a middleman for the taxi drivers and its passengers, and it arbitrarily levied an additional RM2.00 service fee on each taxi service provided by the taxi drivers in Larkin Sentral bus terminal.
“Taxi drivers should not be asked to bear the additional RM2.00 service fee imposed if the taxi fare coupon is less than the fare shown on the metered fare as passengers will only pay for the fixed metered fare,” said Shamsul.
Besides that, he said, the taxi drivers are also having problems cashing out their accumulated taxi fare coupons with Larkin Sentral management when taxi drivers are forced to wait for a week to get the amount reimbursed and at the same time, taxi drivers have to pay out their daily operational expenses like fuel and others.
The implementation of the taxi fare coupon system will affect the daily income of taxi drivers if they were to replace the existing metered fare system since the taxi drivers have already installed and paid for the fare meter which comes to about RM1,000.00, he added.
Shamsul further said, the Larkin Sentral management should have discuss the issue with us prior to implementing the taxi fare coupon system where as at now only one party is benefiting out of it.
Larkin Sentral management should have seek our views and agreement and need to take into account the operational problems that may arise when the new system is implemented, he said.
Meanwhile, taxi passenger Zarina Zahar said, taxi passengers are more comfortable with the metered fare which is more convenient as passengers need not have to go the ticketing counters to purchase the coupon before boarding the taxi.
In the metered fare, I only pay RM6.00 to go to Majidee from Larkin Sentral, but now I have to forked out RM8.00 for the same destination which is an extra cost and this unexpected increase is definitely a burden to all taxi passengers, she added.