April, 25 2012 10:26:08

Capital eyes measures to cut growing numbers of taxis


A taxi picks up a customer in Ha Noi. More than 70 per cent of taxi companies in the city chiefly operate in the inner districts. — VNA/VNS Photo The Duyet
HA NOI — Taxis in the capital city will only be allowed to operate in certain areas by 2015 as part of measures to tighten management over this means of transport following a master plan proposed by the municipal Transport Department.

There are 114 taxi companies with more than 17,400 taxis operating in Ha Noi, and more than 70 per cent of them chiefly operate in the 10 inner districts.

The number of taxis is expected to increase to 21,000 in the next three years.

Director of the department Nguyen Quoc Hung said the number of taxis was growing rapidly, and urged immediate management measures.

The State did not limit the operation of taxis, but called for more professional services in the interests of passengers, he said.

According to a survey by the Transport Development and Strategy Institute, 10-15ha of land is needed for the 17,000 taxis to park, while current parking facilities areas only meet 5-10 per cent of the total demand, causing congestion in the city centre.

The division of areas for taxis to operate inside and outside the city centre will be made along the city's ringroad No.3 which runs through Soc Son, Tu Liem, Cau Giay, Thanh Xuan, Hoang Mai, Gia Lam and Dong Anh districts.

Taxis operating inside ringroad No.3 will be allowed to pick up and drop passengers outside the zone.

Those operating outside the ringroad will be allowed to drop passengers off but prohibited from making pick ups inside the zone.

Under the plan, taxis operating in certain areas will all be the same colour to be decided by the municipal authorities by 2015.

Tran Van Tung, a taxi driver, said the regulations would cause difficulties for taxi drivers if they were only allowed to operate on the outskirts of the city.

"It is clear that demand for taxis in inner districts is much higher than in the suburbs. It means that the number of passengers will decline," he said.

"It will also be a waste if we have to travel a long way from inner districts back to our allocated areas in the suburbs without passengers," he added.

Chairman of the Ha Noi Transport Association Bui Danh Lien said the plan should be carefully studied before it was put into effect because it would impact on taxi companies and passengers.

"A meeting should be held for all taxi companies in the city to give them a chance to raise their opinions about the new regulations before they are implemented," he added.

From now until 2015, a series of measures will be taken to limit the number of taxis operating in the city centre, and no more licenses will be issued for new taxi companies until further notice.

Taxis operating within the city centre will have to pay fees to contribute to the city's transport infrastructure development fund.

Under the plan, all taxis will be required to have meters that can automatically print invoices for passengers, the invoice template for which will be issued by the municipal Department of Finance.

The department will submit the plan to the municipal People's Committee for consideration next month. — VNS

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