Good time for CVLB to lift restrictions on taxis

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SABAH Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB) Chairman Chin Kim Hiung revealed that the board wrote to Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) management on December 23 to propose a designated site for drivers to calling online waiting for customers at international airport.

This would allow drivers calling by email to drop off or pick up passengers who have pre-booked their transport service in a more orderly manner.

The goal is to minimize traffic congestion, reduce waiting time, provide comfort to travelers and improve first impressions of the state.

However, the decision was not well received by KKIA Limousine and Taxi Association chairman Shamsuddin Mohd Shah, who called for Chew’s resignation.

He claimed the CVLB failed to enforce the 2018 ban on line call vehicles from waiting for passengers at KKIA.

The question will remain a hot potato as long as confusion reigns.

First, checks could only be carried out by agencies with enforcement officers, such as the police and the Road Transport Department (JPJ).

If there are enforcement agents at the CVLB, they must go to the field. If there is none, Shamsuddin barks at the wrong tree.

Second, a waiting spot can be a tricky issue. While airport taxis wait in the passenger queue without prior reservation to board their taxis, vehicles calling online should only be allowed to enter the aisle to pick up their passengers. after leaving the airport building.

Just like passenger cars, unidentified vehicles should not be allowed to wait in the aisle, as outgoing passengers could easily notify drivers by phone only when they are ready to be picked up.

A nearby area is needed so that drivers can wait before pick-up without obstructing traffic.

Any private vehicle parked near the airport taxi queue would be considered a threat by taxi drivers.

Their emotional state is such that they could easily confuse private cars, especially those owned by the company, with non-family vehicles.

If the new designated place for e-hailing vehicles is far from the taxi queue, there will still be chaos if e-hailing vehicles without prior reservation are allowed to wait there as it will be overcrowded as drivers will what they can to improve their chances of getting a booking.

Although a good system is necessary, the application remains the key.

Third, city taxi operators have applied to CVLB for permission to pick up passengers at various airports in the state.

This was violently opposed by the KKIA Limousine and Taxi Association, but the CVLB would study the request in detail before making a decision.

It would be relatively easy to make a decision if there was a shortage of airport taxis and line call vehicles at KKIA, as was the case at KL International Airport (KLIA), which eventually allowed city taxis to have their own queue to pick up arriving passengers. from May 2013.

Since its opening in June 1998, KLIA has often been plagued by a shortage of airport taxis whenever there was a convergence of arriving flights, resulting in a long line of customers queuing indefinitely while city ​​taxis were forced to leave the airport empty-handed.

But with amendments to the Public Land Transport Act 2010 and the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Commission Act 1987 passed in Parliament in July 2017, the email service has been legitimized and can operate alongside taxis.

Today, the number of e-hailing vehicles is much larger than that of taxis due to its popularity among passengers and drivers.

Along with lower rates for email services, passengers don’t have to haggle over fares and destinations, and drivers also need to behave on their best terms.

Although drivers who call online may be suspended from complaints filed against them, the rewards are worth the risk as they can complete more trips and earn a higher income.

Also, there is no need to own a taxi license or pay to hire one when operating an email service.

Many hard-working airport and city taxi drivers have switched to driving e-hailing vehicles instead of spending long hours at the airport or in town waiting for passengers.

But the stubborn few continue to cling on and are hostile to those who encroach on their “territory”.

While there was a need to allow taxis to operate in designated areas decades ago, now is the time for the CVLB to lift taxi restrictions in the territories.

If city taxis are allowed to pick up at airports, airport taxis should also be allowed to drive around the city.

Just as taxi drivers are asked to find the courage to face modern realities, neither should the CVLB allow relics of the past to linger into the future.

It’s only a matter of time before the CVLB has to regulate self-driving cars to be used for passenger transport and trucks for cargo.

YS Chan is Asean Tourism Master Trainer for Travel Agencies, Master Trainer for Travel & Tours Enhancement Course and Mesra Malaysia. He is also a consultant and writer in the tourism and transport industry. Comments: [email protected]

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