Yangyel Lhaden

It’s not just a makeover. The taxi drivers at parking lot in front of Viva City have to queue up for efficient service delivery.

But this has not gone down well with taxi drivers.

The Thimphu Thromde in collaboration with Bhutan Taxi Association introduced a new system wherein taxis have to queue up based on different travel locations in Thimphu.

There is no commotion and mildness hollering at the taxi stand. And that means dent on the business of taxi drivers.

The system has lines marked for different travel destination within the Thimphu Thromde. Taxis must park on their own line. The lines accommodate 35 taxis.

Dorji Wangchuk, Tshogpa of Bhutan Taxi Association in Thimphu, said that the new system was introduced to make service delivery seamless. “It is also easier for the passengers.”

Dorji Wangchuk said that due to competition among taxi drivers and limited number of passengers, sometimes passengers had to wait in taxis for hours.

This initiative, he said, could be implemented across the country.

Jigme Singye, a taxi driver, said that the new system was good for both passengers and drivers. A passenger agreed. Another passenger said that he used to get irritated when taxi drivers fought for customers.

But this new system is not popular with a majority of taxi drivers in Thimphu.

For instance, there is no waiting area in the taxi parking. The taxi drivers are fined if they wait outside the queue.

One of the taxi drivers said that there was need of waiting area for the initiative to be successful.

The taxis are also not allowed to park in private parking lot between Jojo’s building and Etho Metho Plaza. Parking on the Norzin Lam is impractical for the taxi drivers.

One of the taxi drivers said that it was inconvenient since there was usually no parking space on Norzin Lam.

That, he said, meant the taxis must run all day long without a stop anywhere.