Fri, 03 Nov 2000

Sutiyoso finally endorses taxi hike

JAKARTA (JP): Governor Sutiyoso, to the surprise of many, finally gave his approval to the 45 percent taxi fare hike proposed by city taxi operators.

But, the governor stressed that the city administration would not require all taxi companies to comply with the new fare.

"We will not force all taxi companies to raise their fares. We are endorsing the 45 percent hike, but each company can decide on their own fares, either to impose the new fare or maintain the old one," Sutiyoso said after inspecting city government offices in the Kebayoran Lama and Pondok Pinang districts in South Jakarta.

"If some of the companies think that they can earn enough profit with the current fare, then they should not implement the fare increase.

Sutiyoso said the city administration would not conduct special operations to monitor the implementation of the new fare but would continue with its regular ones which focus on the condition of the taxis operating on the city's streets.

"For example, if they raise the flagfall from Rp 2,000 (21 US cents) to Rp 3,000 (32 US cents), the company should provide comfortable cars, good air conditioners and safety guarantees for the passengers," Sutiyoso said.

After a one-month suspension, the City Council endorsed the 45 percent fare hike proposed by taxi companies in the capital. The approval resolution was forwarded to Governor Sutiyoso on Oct. 24.

With the 45 percent hike, taxi companies can raise the flagfall from Rp 2,000 to Rp 3,000, and increase the running charge from Rp 900 per kilometer to Rp 1,300 per kilometer. The waiting fee would also increase from Rp 10,000 to Rp 13,000 per hour.

Of the 32 taxi companies operating in the capital, two have rejected the fare hike, saying their companies can survive without raising fares. The two companies are Steady Safe and Citra Taxi.

The City Council in its approval resolution had recommended that the city administration accommodate those taxi companies which opposed the fare hike.

"I will accommodate every interest of the public. So, if some oppose the hike it is fine but if they want the hike, we are providing a clear corridor with the hike being restricted to 45 percent and dependent on the taxis being in good condition," Sutiyoso said.

As to the effective date of the new fare, Sutiyoso said he would not issue a decree and would leave the decision to the Association of City Land Transportation Owners (Organda).

"What I can give them is a letter of approval, but not a decree. It will be up to them to decide when they will impose the new fare as they have to make various preparations and inform the public about the new scheme," he added.

Meanwhile, chairman of the Jakarta chapter of Organda Aip Sjarifuddin told The Jakarta Post on Thursday that he has yet to receive a copy of the governor's approval.

"We will not impose the new fare until we receive a copy of the approval," he said. (dja)