Taxis could not compete with bus companies that received government subsidies and were able to charge lower fees.
THE RITCHIE/MODDERRIVIER (RM) Taxi Association has requested Sol Plaatje Municipality’s traffic services and the Northern Cape Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison to prevent buses from using the parking lot at the Shoprite shopping centre in Bultfontein Road as a parking and loading zone, as it is threatening their livelihoods.
In a memorandum addressed to the HOD of the Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison and the Sol Plaatje traffic department, the association complained yesterday that buses were making use of these parking bays in violation of the traffic regulations.
“The Shoprite private rank is not a bus loading terminal. We have on numerous occasions raised the matter with the Sol Plaatje traffic department and no response has been received to prevent non-compliance.”
The chairperson of the RM Taxi Association, Anthony van Wyk, said that passenger safety was compromised as the traffic lane was also used to pick up passengers.
“We are also losing passengers who alight the minibuses or buses that stop there. This bus terminal needs to be changed to a safer area, where it does not influence the taxi business.”
Van Wyk added that taxis could not compete with bus companies that received government subsidies and were able to charge lower fees.
“Their fees per passenger are over 24 percent less than ours.”
Van Wyk also requested that taxis be allowed to operate on Saturdays.
The Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison did not provide comment by the time of going to press.