Pvt. vehicles invade taxi turf

Transport: Taxi drivers in Trashigang say that private vehicles are eating into their pockets by carrying passengers at cheaper fares.

They claim that about 30 private vehicles, mostly bolero campers, are operating commercially to carry people to and fro various gewogs in the dzongkhag.

Taxi drivers wrote to Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA) about a year ago, but this illegal practice is still rampant.  Tshewang, leader of Trashigang’s taxi tshogpa, said the number of private vehicles operating like taxis is increasing by the year.

“Some of these drivers are even seen at the taxi parking looking for passengers. Recently, we came across two such vehicles,” said Tshewang. “What’s worrying is that the private vehicles that operate like taxi carry passengers beyond capacity.”

Tashi Wangyel, a taxi driver, said that, at times, taxi drivers don’t get even a single passenger the whole day. “Private vehicles operating as taxi are all over the place.”

Choki Tshering, another taxi driver, said private vehicles charge less fares and people prefer them to taxis. “It’s a strange competition we’re facing today.”

RSTA officials said that it was difficult to monitor because passengers don’t tell the truth.

“As long as vehicles are carrying the allowed capacity of passengers, they aren’t violating the law. We can’t impose penalties unless we have definite evidences against the driver,” said an RSTA official.

According to RSTA rules, private vehicles operating as a commercial vehicles will be slapped a Nu 1750 fine.

RSTA has only two officials to monitor such cases in Trashigang.

People say that the taxi fares in Trashigang are too high.  For instance, to travel from town to Melphey costs Nu 150, and Nu 300 to go to Pam, which is about 5km from Trashigang town.

By Tshering Wangdi, Trashigang

5 replies
    MIGNIEN says:

    Although technical difficulties , I success to send my comments about that problem ; but eitheir in recents comments nor in latest forum topics I was quoted ; only “onlline on” was quoted ! Meanwhile this issue worries many bhutanese ! I support this problem at each time I come in Bhutan ; more with nepalese taxi drivers !

  2. online
    online says:

    If taxi drivers feel that their source for butter and bread is being snatched by private carriers, then it is high time they do some introspection than blaming the private cars. I find most of taxi drivers unprofessional and unethical in conducting their business. If they get chance, they are very quick in cheating with fares even for educated lot, cannot imagine with the innocent helpless farmers. When demand for their services rises especially during festivals, they do not hesitate to jack up the fare 3-4 times the normal rate( very unethical). Moreover they are very sensitive to rise in fuel price demanding increase in fare but becomes thick skin and unresponsive when price falls even if it is a steep fall.

    MIGNIEN says:

    I agree with Wangdi . Taxi fares are too high . They charges what they feel .I suggest two measures 1/ Instal counters inside taxi cars / or , less expensive , make compulsory deliver bills after all service to passengers .where is written : 1/ the exact place of embarking /2 The exact place of disembarking 3/ Number of kilometers with one passenger /4 Number of licence plate / Number of driving licence for taxi .
    Passenger will be responsible to check the figures of the bill . In case of disagreement call police .
    In case of trespassing by the taxi driver , fine very high . If more than two trespassing , court of justice by police . If necessity confiscating of the vehicule of the taxi driver .:

    MIGNIEN says:

    I try to send comments for four times ; at each time , technical problem after put on submit square ; so technical problem are always erratic and not solved !

    I do not understand this problem which happen time to time without any regular rule .

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