Sat, 09 Dec 2000

W. Java taxis want fare hike

BANDUNG: The West Java chapter of the Land Transportation Owners' Organization (Organda) is seeking fare increases for all taxis operating in the province.

The vice chairman of the organization, Yunus Situmorang, told reporters here on Thursday that an official letter requesting the fare hike had been sent to the West Java administration.

"We want all cabs operating in Bogor and Bekasi to get a similar fare increase to that awarded to Jakarta taxis. We want the flag fall for Bandung and Cirebon taxis to be increased by Rp 500 from the current Rp 1,500," Yunus said. "We have also proposed a fare increase of Rp 400 -- from the current Rp 900 -- for each kilometer traveled."

According to Yunus, the increase in fares would help taxi owners in Bandung and Cirebon improve services. "Many taxis have no meters and they are all old cars."

There are now 700 cabs operating in Bandung and Cirebon, but only 80 have taxi meters.

The Ministry of Transportation Office in Bandung was not enthusiastic about Organda's proposal. "Taxi fare increases need long and careful study. Taxi services are very poor here, and most of the drivers need education in ethics."

Chairman of Commission B of the West Java provincial legislative council shared his opinion, saying that a fare increase would be reasonable if the service provided was good. "Improve the service first, then increase the fares." (25/sur)