HCM CITY (VNS)— Taxis operating in HCM City will be subject to greater scrutiny and punishment in the coming months, says Duong Hong Thanh, deputy director of the city's Transport Department.
Thanh said at a meeting last Saturday that the department will co-operate with relevant agencies in intensifying inspections.
He said there were 26 operators with more than 11,000 taxis in HCM City. Of these, 81 per cent are private enterprises and the remaining 19 per cent are co-operatives.
"There is a big difference in the quality of services provided by the two since the co-operatives do not manage their taxi drivers at all," he said.
"Although the number of taxi violations in the city has reduced gradually, there are still taxis that take detours and overcharge customers."
Thanh said the department has recorded 10 common violations including fake taxis, fighting for passengers, not using meters, robbing customers' forgotten belongings, parking in the wrong places, speeding and refusing to accept passengers for short distances.
Fake taxis that deceive people by carrying the names and/or similar designs and logos of established taxi operators remain a major headache for HCM City authorities, other participants of the meeting said.
Vinasun and Mai Linh, the two most popular names in the business, are also the most faked by illegal operators. The two operators have tracked down some fake taxis and sued them, they noted.
Apart from intensifying inspections and punishments, the department is considering regulations that would require, among other things, taxi operators to attach logos, light boxes and meters in a way that it is not easy to remove, Thanh said.
In addition, taxi firms will have their business licences revoked if many of their drivers are found violating the laws.
Responding to complaints about taxis parking illegally on many streets, causing traffic congestion, Thanh said "Currently, the city has no zoning plan for taxi development, and there is no official parking lot for taxis in the city."
The department will work with relevant departments and local district authorities to make zoning plans for taxi parking spaces, he said.
Nguyen Thai Binh, general secretary of the HCM City Taxi Association, said businesses should focus more on training their taxi drivers in terms of professional and ethical conduct.
He also asked the association's members to strictly deal with drivers who violate regulations and share information about dismissed drivers so that they are not hired again.
In the long run, taxis should be equipped with invoice printers, department officials said at the meeting.
The invoices will state the fare and company name, address and phone number as well as driver's full name, time, journey duration and distance. — VNS