Meters with conditions: South taxi operators

PANJIM: Welcoming Government’s decision to install taxi meters, South Goa tourist taxi operators have called on the Government to first stop all private cars from operating as self-driven cars and hotels and tour operators from overcharging tourists, before forcing them to installing meters on tourist taxis.    

The All Goa Taxi Union spokesperson Jorge Fernandes maintained that the illegal operators affected legitimate taxi trade and therefore it was first important to stop them and then think of fixing meters on the taxis.  

Secondly, he claimed that tour operators and hotels charge tourists 15 times more in foreign currency compared to what local taxi operators charge. This, too, has to be stopped if the taxi meters are ever to be installed, they demanded.

Fernandes suggested, “The tourist taxi meter tariff should be conspicuously displayed at all tourist destinations such as airports, railway stations, hotel lobbies and other tourist assembly points, to make them aware of prevailing tariff in Goa and pay taxi operator according to the hard copy of the emerging bill without any doubts or resentment.”

He further recommended, “The meters should be genuine printer-loaded units, having capacity to print and issue a hard copy of the bill after every hire. This meter has to be programmed with tariff rates as per official gazette notification No DTp/STA/922/2006, dated 05/12/2006.”

The implementation of this notification best serves the interest of the local taxi operators and tourists, he added.

Finally, he maintained, the hotel industry should not force the operators to buy any one particular brand of high-end cars, as this does not leave a choice to low-budget tourist and also to the taxi operator. [H]