|Taxis line up to wait for customers at the National Cinema Centre in Ha Noi. Many taxi firms have been found to use tricks to increase the number of cars operating to get profits. — VNS Photo Thai Ha
HA NOI (VNS)— Many taxi firms have cheated to increase the number of cars operating in Ha Noi to get profits, according to the Municipal Transport Authority.
A recent inspection by the city's Department of Transport found that many taxis had their number plates registered in Ha Noi, but have the taxi badge (registration) granted by transport authorities in other provinces.
In 2010, the department blocked taxi firms from adding to their fleets because it said there were already too many taxis on the capital city's roads.
It blamed the rise in taxis for increasing traffic problems throughout the city.
For example, Ha Anh Taxi Company vehicles use a badge granted by the transport authority in northern Ninh Binh Province; Song Hong Transport Co-operative has badges granted by northern Bac Ninh and Vinh Phuc provinces.
However, both companies operate in Ha Noi and their number plates were issued by Ha Noi's authority.
Bui Danh Lien, chairman of the city's Transport Association, said that big profits and easy procedures helped the illegal business flourish.
"All they need are some cars and an enterprise-establishment certificate, and they will soon get a badge to start their business. This loophole contributes to violations, such as driving without a licence and ‘hot' meters used to overcharge customers," he said.
Lien said taxi firms took advantage of a loophole in the Law on Enterprises. This allowed them to open branches in other provinces.
Vice-chief inspector of the city's transport department, Hoang Van Manh, said it might be necessary to eliminate small enterprises and require all taxi firms to have their own colours.
Every taxi would also have to use a badge issued by a State agency. It will be renewed every 12 months. The badge would identify the enterprise and have the car's number plate printed on it
According to the deparment, Ha Noi has about 17,400 taxis. More than 10,000 violations have been reported since early this year. Three hundred taxis have also been seized. — VNS