Proposal to 'radically' change minibus taxi industry

2015-09-01 17:28
(File, News24)

(File, News24)

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee has proposed a new "game-changing" policy to help mini-bus taxi associations to form companies.

Described as a "game-changing policy proposal for the transformation of the minibus-taxi industry", council said in a statement on Tuesday it wanted to make the industry economically sustainable, while also improving service delivery.

The proposal will be served before a full council next month for final approval.

Mayoral committee member for transport Brett Herron said he is confident the proposed model will improve the overall conditions for commuters who depend on minibus-taxis for transport.

"Once the minibus-taxi industry is transformed into formal businesses, other road users and employees within the taxi industry and the city will also reap the fruits as it will be in the minibus-taxi operators’ financial interest to improve self-regulation and service standards," Herron said.

There are up to 102 route associations across the city that are organised into six regional structures. There are about 10 000 operating licences and 16 000 vehicle owners and drivers, the statement said.

"It is a well-known fact that the city has limited resources to address sufficiently the large number of illegal operators on our roads. Instead of spending more resources on enforcement, however, it is our intention to rather work with the minibus-taxi industry to find solutions that will be to the benefit of us all – from the commuter, to the operator and to the city.

"We have already presented this transformation model to the minibus-taxi industry and other affected government departments, where it has been well received."

The intention is to establish association-based taxi operating companies (TOCs), which will own the operating licences, rather than the individuals as is currently the case.

"TOCs will have to prepare a business plan, substantiating the number of operating licences required to run the company at a profit. They may own the vehicles, will employ and train the drivers and other workers and will be tasked with disciplining drivers. The city will provide financial assistance for professional services to assist the industry to set up the TOCs, as well as for training and building management capacity," Herron said.

"As the profits in the new model will go to the TOCs as opposed to the individual operator, it will be in their interest to curb illegal taxi operations and to self-regulate the routes on which they are authorised to operate."

The proposed business model will allow TOCs significantly more bargaining power in the procurement of new vehicles or in servicing a fleet, said Herron.

From a passenger perspective, it is hoped this new model will lead to less speeding and reckless driving from taxi drivers, as they will no longer need to compete for passengers to meet daily targets.

Read more on:    cape town  |  transport

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