Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On
Allen Lockington is a self-employed customs agent and business consultant who has regular articles published in Fiji. I thank Allen for permission to reprint some of them in this political blog. They remind us that life goes on, whatever the political situation. And it's good to know that.
I have to tell this story - when the taxi fare increase was imminent we were told that to calculate the new fare we simply had to multiply the old fare by two and subtract $1.50. My old fare was $3.00 from the Lautoka market to Kava Place, Waiyavi. Using the calculation the new fare would be $4.50.
I got on a taxi at 0730 am on Thursday (when it was still cool) at the Lautoka market, to return home and the fare was $3.90, that is difference of .60c. I am grateful that I didn’t have to pay the $4.50. As for Raijeli Bale who had to pay a whooping $17.10 where the bus fare would have been $1.15, I feel your pain. Anyway, these are just two incidents where taxi fares didn’t add up, one for the better and the other for the worse. While the taxi fare issue is still hot, would the taxi union together with the relevant authority do a survey to find out if the taxi calibration was done correctly?
Does atmospheric temperate affect the meters? I will take a taxi again soon at noon to see if there is a change in the taxi fare.
But I’m not complaining.
I had another interesting ride in a taxi yesterday. I asked the driver how he was faring and he said that it was ok, it was good enough. In fact he was not complaining. He said that business was down and he thought that the ordinary citizen who used to take a cab no longer does. He noticed the decent wage earner by the home he drops them of at. But one thing he is worried about is the illegal vans who still charge the old price. Well, I took an illegal van in the afternoon and I was charged the old fare.
I did it to prove a point; anyway the van that I took charged me the old fare. Taxi drivers are now complaining that they pay base fees; have to go through defensive driving courses, which is not cheap.
In Lautoka the illegal vans and rural taxis and taxis from other bases park at parking meters which are situated right outside supermarkets. Sometime ago LTA confiscated illegal vans and some had their number plates removed. We in Waiyavi suffered when wishing to travel after hours.
Is the illegal van problem concentrated only in Lautoka? What about the other centers, do they also have this problem and why.